"He managed to limit the mechanical hand chops and weirdly timed smiles.... his longtime nemesis, the teleprompter... He is ill-suited to lecterns.... He is working to limit his verbal tangents and nonverbal tics... He is speaking less out of the sides of his mouth.... he is relying less on his favorite semantic crutch, the phrase 'my friends'.... seems to have reined in the sarcasm.... said he was trying to be 'extra vigilant' about not giving unnecessary offense... the only time I would even put him behind a podium at all between now and the end of the campaign is when he’s announcing a policy position" — a NYT report on McCain's recent attempts to improve his public speaking.It's beginning to resemble the 'what-have-the-Romans-ever-done-for-us?' scene from The Life of Brian. So okay, apart from the hand chops and the weird smiles and the teleprompters amd the lecterns and the verbal tangents and the non-verbal tics and the semantic crutches and the excessive sarcasm and the unnecessary offense and the podiums, what, uh, seems to be the problem?