They're Off—and Raspy

Nonstop race takes toll on candidates' vocal cords
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2008 3:45 PM CST
Former President Bill Clinton speaks to a group of Hillary Clinton supporters at a town hall type meeting at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C. on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008. (AP Photo/Willis Glassgow)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Listen to the candidates in this year's grueling presidential race and you'll discover one of the first casualties of political war: vocal cords. With a dozen or so speaking engagements every day, the candidates are hoarse, raspy, and desperate for fixes. John McCain swears by pre-debate olive oil, the Wall Street Journal notes, while Barack Obama prefers lemon water. What about giving their voices a rest? Forget about it.

This year's schedule is especially demanding, but the problem is not new. And advice is plentiful: Ease up on alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate; whispering makes things worse; good posture helps. But there are limits. A doctor ordered Obama not to speak—2 days before the New Hampshire vote. "Those were instructions we had to ignore," said an aide.