September 26th, 2008

As a benchmark for Sarah Palin’s incoherence, enjoy a BBC radio interview this morning on disappearing frogs. The interviewee is the Beeb’s nature broadcaster and ex-mandarin Sir David Attenborough. The interviewer is sympathetic to the great man, a 56-year television pro. But Attenborough is 82, and his answers are plainly extempore. You could print the transcript and wouldn’t need to edit it apart from cutting out the hesitations. Every sentence is well-formed. And no, he doesn’t come across as cold or snooty in the least, just as an approachable and knowledgeable enthusiast for his work.

It may be unreasonable to expect politicians under stress to achieve quite this standard of lucid speech, but they should be competing in the same league. Obama, McCain, Dodd, Paulson, Brown, Sarkozy and many others do. Palin can’t.

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