Rather than add one more water molecule to torrent of comparisons between Obama and Lincoln, I will deal today with the subject of presidents and communication by quoting the great H.L. Mencken*, writing about the writing of the not-so-great president Warren G. Harding:
me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the
line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs
barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of
grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish,
and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and
bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.
* You haven't really appreciated this passage until, under the influence of one and one-half gin and tonics at a conference cocktail party, it has been recited to you perfectly, from memory, by the great speechwriter and literary jukebox, Hal Gordon.