ADDED: Scrolling around and looking in different frames, I don't see it. I think this picture creates an illusion of a clear plastic earpiece, but I can't see it in other frames.
AND: I made the picture smaller, so you won't think I'm trying to make trouble even though I no longer believe there is a visible earpiece. Anyway, remember the suspicions about Bush in '04, the famous jacket bulge? Remember this old story about Romney? There has also been discussion over whether Palin wore an earpiece. And there's been speculation about Obama, based on performances like this:
ADDED: Live-blogging the debate, Jac (a big Obama supporter) said:
10:27 - Obama needs to be coached to stop beginning so many of his answers with dead air while he thinks of what to say: "Uhhh ... ehhh ..."
That would be a good time to listen to an inside-the-ear advisor.
Glenn Reynolds links to this post and agrees with my just a reflection analysis. But then he links to this comment over on Volokh:
Actually, both candidates' hesitancy and quick changes of topic, often within the same sentence, are consistent with their being whispered to. I challenge you to sound coherent when someone's talking to you and you have to not repeat what they say but reformulate it into something that sounds good, while they're still talking.On that theory, look at this:
(Thanks to commenter jdeeripper for pointing me to that.)
You know, just because the thing I saw wasn't there doesn't mean there wasn't something there that I didn't see. I would not be surprised to learn some day that all or most politicians have for years had their advisors helping them from deep inside their ear canals. Maybe the best politicians are just those who are most adept at translating the voice in their ear into fluid speech.
AND: In the comments and around the web, this post is attracting anti-Althousiana. What I would really love would is a Chip Ahoy animation of Obama's ear as a vortex, like this one. For more information my vortex, read this and click the "vortex" tag.