Patrick Nielsen Hayden, in a comment on a Calpundit post, completely understands why Tony Blair and other British politicians seem so fluent and articulate compared to their American counterparts.
“The British system requires ministers, including the Prime Minister, to regularly and publicly face hostile questioning from the opposition. As a result, the ability to handle one’s self under such a barrage isn’t just desirable; it’s something that ambitious politicians go out of their way to flaunt. When Tony Blair goes on TV to be grilled by a Dimbleby, he isn’t saying ‘I recognize that I owe a debt of accountability to the citizenry.’ (Indeed, accountability isn’t really one of Blair’s strong suits.) Rather, what he’s saying is ‘I am now going to remind all of you that I am one tough son of a bitch.”
James McGee: “The tools I use all have warts. I don’t have the time or talent to build them myself. I’m old enough now that I no longer believe in the perfect tool, especially one that is coming Real Soon Now. But I will invest time in learning how to use tools that do exist. And I am willing to cope with the inevitable breakage.”