Shuggy raises an eyebrow at my reference to 'high rhetoric and practised eloquence' in connection with Obama's inaugural speech. Contrasting judgements, and I'm happy to stand by mine. I don't, however, agree with Shuggy's emphasis on the reason for the difference between Britain and America in this regard being that there the president is head of state as well as of the executive. True, Shuggy gives this as only one of a number of reasons, but it's the only one he spells out. My own impression is that in the US politicians are generally much readier than they are here to resort to high-sounding appeals, whether involving their Creator, or the founding values of their nation, Liberty, Justice and so forth. This can, on occasion, be cloying and even embarrassing. Like anything else it can be done badly. But at times, and done well, it has its place - though, naturally, I don't mean by this that I personally go along with appeals to a benign Maker.