Isn't the myth that the American people can sensibly judge which candidate would make the better president by his performance at staged events (including especially debates) one of the most hubristic and self-serving conceits of the media? After all, how does the ability to work with a speech writer, submit one's face to a make-up artist or learn how to speak from an acting coach reflect on one's ability to make strategic choices which is what the job of president is all about in the first place?

From a conversation with Edward Jay Epstein this morning.