But (Keating’s) loss (ie lack of formal education) was politics’ gain. It left his language blessedly free of the social sciences, and being also free of the law, it was almost completely unconstrained. In its natural environment it served as the raw instrument of his intelligence, a shillelagh or a paint brush as circumstances demanded. With it he could sell an idea better than anybody else in the government. He painted word pictures, created images and moods at a stroke. He could turn ideas into icons, make phrases that stuck.