It’s probably unfair to expect high-flown rhetoric and complex ideas from a presidential candidate’s speech. They’re designed to get the candidate’s ideas and policies across to potential voters in the most simple and shortest way.

That said, you can take the simplicity too far. Take John McCain criticising Barack Obama’s stance on nuclear power

You know, the other night in a debate I said his eloquence is admirable but pay attention to his words […] We talked about nuclear power. Well, it has to be safe, environment, blah blah blah. […] Nuclear power is safe. We ought to do it now.

Pay attention to Obama’s words, says McCain. What about McCain’s words? Blah, blah, blah? Is that an ‘admirable eloquence’? Sure, the arguments around nuclear power and safety can be complex. They often need to be simplified so that people who aren’t nuclear scientist can understand then, but blah, blah, blah? Do the workers cleaning up at Hanford, the most radioactive place in America regard nuclear safety as blah, blah, blah, do you think? John McCain is 72, as if we needed reminding, not 7.

And ‘nuclear power is safe’, says McCain. Really? If it’s so safe why is McCain on the record as saying he would not want nuclear waste being transported through his home state of Arizona? Is it safe or is it not, Senator? If it’s as safe as you say, let’s see you call for nuclear waste to be trucked through Arizona. Let’s have a straight answer and make it a little less simple than blah, blah, blah. We’re intelligent enough to understand.