Within 25 seconds of beginning his argument Tuesday before the Supreme Court on the health care mandate, Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. struggled to get through his remarks, repeating a sentence, coughing, and pausing apparently to take a drink of water:
SOLICITOR GEN. DONALD VERRILLI: Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the court, the Affordable Care Act addresses a fundamental and enduring problem in our health care system and our economy. Insurance has become the predominant means of paying for health care in this country [coughs]—insurance has become the predominant means of paying for health care in this country for most Americans, for more than 80 percent of Americans, the insurance system does provide effective access. [pause] Excuse me. But for more than 40 million Americans, who do not have access to health insurance either through their employer or through government programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, the system does not work.
Considering Verrilli's remarks were in a prepared argument before the Supreme Court, were they better or worse than Miss Teen South Carolina Caitlin Upton's 2007 response to a pageant question?
MISS SOUTH CAROLINA: I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some ... people out there in our nation don't have maps and uh, I believe that our, ah, education like such as in South Africa, and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., or should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for.