It can be easy to confuse oratory skills with intelligence. People are impressed by a well-thought-out argument presented articulately. It is what lawyers do at trial. It is why politicians often employ speech writers and teleprompters. Armed with a teleprompter or even a written speech, a person at the podium simply has to read the words. He doesn't even have to think about them. Recall the scene from Anchorman when Ron Burgundy's weakness is exposed: he will read whatever pops up on the teleprompter.
Sometimes politicians show us a different side of themselves when they are exposed to a Q&A session with the press, or are forced to go off-script. These moments tend to dissolve the illusion of intelligence. As the media continues it's obsession with Revere-gate and people are going to great pains to label the issue as evidence that Palin is dumb, lets take a stroll down Memory Lane to when Obama's teleprompter left him high and dry. the interesting thing about this video is that Obama was unable to articulate his points on his own.
Generally I am loathe to mine material from blogs I visit, but the Prof. really put up some gold this morning, so I couldn't resist. Due credit to Legal Insurrection.