Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Plain English

Tom Friedman is the latest in a line of pundits to proclaim, based on their own anecdotal evidence, that Arabs would be enthralled with a Barack Obama presidency.

Maybe they would. But here is an alternative viewpoint gathered from recent BOBW world travels, with a sample size no worse than Tom Friedman's -- 2 Jordanians. They preferred Hillary. Because they found her manner of speaking much easier to understand. And it's true -- a typical Hillary speech is a patiently laid out set of steps that she would take on each issue. People forget that Obama's speaking style, as talented as it is, relies much more on rhetoric, abstraction, and allusion. Or at least they forget about it when trying to hitch non-native English speakers to the Obama bandwagon.

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