Okay, this video compilation from John McCain's Tuesday night address in Louisiana is quite entertaining, and the contrast of his speech with the one Obama delivered shortly thereafter is laughable. But before Dems get too cocky, let's just briefly recall the election of 1952, which pitted a Democratic silver-tongued orator against a gruff, grumbly Republican soldier. Ike beat Stephenson 55-44.
Granted, McCain ain't Ike, and there's a world of difference between the political environments of 1952 and 2004 (e.g.: the unpopular war and the slow economy are occurring on the Republican's watch this time). But my point is that speaking ability, while wonderful if you have it, is pretty modest in its effects on elections.