IF GEORGE W Bush had one saving grace, it was that he used to say some of the most unintentionally funny things, providing regular comic relief from a Republican reign marred by the 9-11 attacks and subsequent wars.
George Dubya's intermittent tid-bits of jibba-jabba came to be known as 'Bushisms', and by the tail-end of his presidency, he had so many that some people started publishing calendars with a Bushism for each day of the week - although I'm sure there were enough Bushisms to last several years.
Even with the benefit of hindsight, I am still baffled as to how Bush Jnr managed to not only claw his way into the White House, but also to stay there for consecutive terms, once people heard him talk about issues of national importance.
I present to you Bushism number 48: "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."
That quote was taken in Tennessee in February, 2001 - the very beginning of Bush's presidency.
Of course, he said countless more silly things between then and the next election, but it didn't stop people voting for him.
Which brings me to the current contenders for the Australian prime ministership.
If you've been even casually watching the news you'd know Tony Abbott had a week to rival Dubya in his prime this week - from the diabolical "suppository of wisdom" gaff to the "sex appeal" comment about one of his fellow LNP candidates.
As little sympathy as I have for Abbott, I cannot ignore the fact that he is not the only politician to sound stupid on TV.
If Kevin Rudd's robot-like speech patterns and occasional mumbling of jargon words such as, "specificity", don't irritate you enough, his choreographed hand-gesturing surely will.
Something happens to normal people when you put a camera in their face - they stiffen up inside and out.
For politicians - perhaps due to the fact that they are so clearly drilled on what they must and must not say - the effect is amplified to the point of it being grotesque.
Take for example, Abbott's infamous and painful 28 seconds of silence, when a reporter quizzed him about his "*hit happens" comments on a soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Was Abbott trying to intimidate the reporter by giving him the silent treatment? Or was he just in ultimate damage mitigation mode?
Say nothing and you can't get yourself into any more trouble.
A bit like last weekend's debate.
Not the first time our cricketers have tasted loss
AUSTRALIAN cricket was in the thick of a dramatic resurgence about the time I first started watching in the late 1980s.
As the Boons and Marshes came and went they were replaced by the Warnes and Waughs and the team evolved into the most dominant of its time.
It took a little while for me to learn that things weren't always rosy, especially in those years after Lillee and Thompson moved on. Despite all of the calls for sackings, I think some people need to look at what came out of the mid 80s. It was the dawn of a new era.
Just remember Steve Waugh was dropped from the Australian test side several times before he realised his true potential.
His emergence mirrored that of Australian cricket at the time - out of the 80s and into the 90s, seeing the arrival of the likes of Shane Warne who, I might add, didn't exactly look like the best leg spinner of all time when Ravi Shastri smashed him on debut.
Who could have foreseen that, barely a year later, he would bowl the ball of the century, a ball that would confirm the beginning of years of misery for England.
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