Presidential candidates and their voices

Interesting WSJ article on what the candidates do when their voice becomes hoarse from the constant public speaking:

John McCain’s voice was little more than a rasp at Jan. 9 rallies in South Carolina. With a televised campaign debate scheduled the next night, aides sprang into action. They bought the Arizona senator a bottle of olive oil.

The 71-year-old Mr. McCain took a tablespoonful an hour before the debate. It seemed to work. “He sounded great,” recalls Brett O’Donnell, his director of messaging and Liberty University’s director of debate. The olive-oil cure has been “passed down in the speaking profession,” Mr. O’Donnell says.

Politicians get all sorts of advice about how to combat hoarseness. Mr. Obama’s favorite home remedy consists of hot water, lemon, honey and ginger, according to Mr. Vietor. But some suggestions are ineffective or potentially harmful, throat specialists say.

Jonathan Aviv, an otolaryngology professor at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, recommends that presidential contenders take antacids daily and avoid caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and mint. He says they all aggravate gastric reflux, which can irritate vocal cords.

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