Bush may be a ham, but Kerry is a mouthful


First, while Bush is often derided as inarticulate, Kerry has other issues with language. He might be called over-articulate, or fond of adding 12 words when one might do.


Second, if Bush is a ham on the stump, Kerry is the lead in a Shakespearean drama. He is a big man with a big voice and a command of the material and the stage, but he sometimes can appear more focused on his words than on his audience.


When a man in Albuquerque, New Mexico, asked Kerry what he would do in Iraq, Kerry answered with a five-minute discussion of the environment and what Bush had done wrong, then said, briefly, that he would convene a summit and train Iraqi security forces more quickly.

Third, while Bush has for years tossed a few sentences of Spanish with a West Texas accent into his speeches - the Spanish wire service Agencia EFE has noted that the president speaks the language poorly "but with great confidence" - last week Kerry spoke an entire and very careful paragraph of Spanish, much practiced beforehand, in the neutral accent of Spanish-language television anchors.


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