The Oregon race for the Senate favors the Democratic challenger, Jeff Merkley, over Republican incumbent Gordon Smith, which normally would not surprise many given Oregon’s usual tilt to the Left. However, after seeing Merkley in action, even Oregonians have to wonder how they could choose him over almost anyone. On a campaign stop on August 9th, two days after Russia launched an attack on Georgia that captured the attention of the world, Merkley seemed stumped by a question about it:

Even after finally figuring out that a question on the national security and foreign policy implications of Georgia didn’t refer to a “siege on Savannah”, as one of the bystanders joked, Merkley still couldn’t answer the question.  After wiping his hands on his pants several times, he finally told his questioner that he’s had to study up and get back to him.

Of course, that’s about the same level of expertise as the Democratic presidential nominee demonstrated in this crisis, too.  But at least Barack Obama has better table manners.