The two smartest guys in Washington DC are now both on Fox News, and sometimes you can see them together on the 6 PM show.
George Will and Charles Krauthammer are both extremely analytical, commonsensical, eloquent, and incisive. Both have original insights. And maybe most impressively, both express those insights not just in complete sentences, but in complete paragraphs.
It just hit me last night what I love about listening to them most: both men speak more eloquently than I write.
I think I sound fairly smart on paper -- but there are many people, who, when given ample time for rewrites, can manage to do so. If you meet me in person, you won't be impressed -- I can pretty much guarantee that. I sound just like everyone else. And by "everyone else" I mean like half the teenage girls you know. I pepper my speech liberally with "like's" and "you know's" and plenty of swears.
So, maybe a teenage girl crossed with a truck driver.
On top of that, I'm just not quick on my feet. Give me ten minutes and I can come up with the perfect one line response. (If you want two lines, I'll need twenty minutes.) But I can almost never come up with the perfect response on the spur of the moment.
But Will and Krauthammer speak in polished essays. I can only hope -- after numerous revisions -- to write a sentence as well-constructed as the sentences they utter. (Will actually sounds as if he's reading one of his own essays when he speaks.)
I went to Harvard and worked at Goldman Sachs, so I've met a fair number of smart people in my life. And I've met far, far many more arrogant types who merely think they're smart. (As I said, I went to Harvard and worked at Goldman.)
But none of them, not even the few who actually were really smart, spoke in polished essay form.
There are no other talking heads who do it, not on Fox, nor on any of the other news channels. Not even Megyn Kelly, Fox's newest prime time host, who comes across smarter than O'Reilly and Hannity, does it. Only Will and Krauthammer can do it.
Both men are undoubtedly given the topics to be discussed ahead of time, and thus have some time to prepare their comments beforehand, which helps. Still, the other members of the panels are also afforded that opportunity, yet none come across nearly as eloquent as Will and Krauthammer. And many of Will and Krauthammer's comments are responses to the other panelists, which are by necessity ad libbed.
It's humbling to listen to them. My usual reaction: "That's so true….why couldn't I think of that?" (A rhetorical question.)
Let me put it as I would if I were speaking to you in person: Will and Krauthammer are just, like, you know, fucking geniuses! I mean, shit!