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.