Is The Presidency Above Obama's Mental/Pay Grade?
It's interesting to hear the euphemisms bandied about in campaigns.
After Barack Obama's and John McCain's appearance a week ago at Saddleback Church, for instance, the former's ardent supporters were as effusive in their praise as ever.
His stammering and copious "uhs" weren't signs of a befuddled and muddled mind, but of "thoughtfulness" and "nuanced" thinking.
Yeah, sure, and when President Bush occasionally invents a new word, we can chalk it up to creativity.
The truth is that, sans teleprompter and prepared speech and contrary to myth, Obama is at best a mediocre speaker.
(If you say that we're electing a president and not a professional orator, fair enough. But given that Bush's wanting speaking skills have made him the butt of jokes and have been used to paint him as an idiot, I think it bears mention.)
Yet neither this nor "thoughtfulness" explains his fumbling tongue. After all, politicians are people who are supposed to live and breathe issues and policy, so there should be few things they haven't been asked about or at least pondered before.
Thus, they should have oft-rendered, memorized, standard responses at the ready. For sure, John McCain did, despite his supposed status as a septuagenarian with senior moments. And if politicians don't have them - neither sublime answers nor slick dodges - what does it tell us? Well, perhaps it means they haven't put much thought into things at all. For if a person makes it a practice to think deeply about issues, he doesn't have to think about them on stage. It's the difference between preparation and improvisation. snip