Excellent entry on Language log based on an article in the New Yorker. During a recent press conference, Democrat candidate to the US presidency John Kerry pretended he couldn’t understand or speak French (in which he is perfectly fluent), presumably to safeguard his political future. This is what Geoffrey K. Pullum says: "I would have thought that to have a US president (for once) who could argue fluently and convincingly in the native language of some other heads of state would be a fantastic asset. But instead it is perceived as a kind of disloyalty, evidence of being an untrustworthy egghead, and you would lose millions of votes over it. It’s both depressing and amazing."
It is indeed.