By chance, I had to speak consecutively one day this week for some four hours, split up between different groups of different sizes on different themes. Each meeting overran and so I had very little time to gather my thoughts as I walked from one meeting room to another. I used to lecture for four hour stretches at Bruges, but that was split up into two-hour blocs, with breaks after one hour and the students making presentations. Apart from giving me a sore throat, this week’s experience gave me a small insight into the challenge facing candidates on the stump. How US Presidential candidates keep it up I just do not know. From that simple angle Barrack Obama’s ability to continue to wow the crowds over the months was extraordinary but it must also be said that 72 year-old John McCain’s sheer physical stamina was remarkable.