September 9, 2009

A pet peeve of mine...

Thanks to Joshua Livestro for this:

...One more thing before I chuck his sorry behind into my spamfilter: cut the cr*p about Palin's use of speechwriters somehow being evidence that the ideas in her pieces aren't truly hers. As a former speechwriter (a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away) I think I'm reasonably qualified to tell him that this is total baloney. Any speechwriter worth his salt will have read every scrap of paper ever produced by his boss, as well as every biographical sketch ever written about him/her. That way, he is able to write with confidence from the politician's perspective, using their ideas and - where possible - even their language. Any speech writer that doesn't do this, will be an ex speech writer before he knows it....

Every major public figure uses speechwriters. Even if they are quite capable of writing a great speech themselves. Why? Because an important speech might take days or weeks of work, that's why. Important people have all sorts of things done for them that they could do themselves. Because their time is very valuable, and needs to be used for their essential business. Somebody washes their socks, too, and fills out their tax-returns. doesn't mean they are incapable.

I've heard the "uses-a-speechwriter" criticism leveled against Republicans all my life. Stupid. And it is actually a sure sign of the intellectual bankruptcy of the Left. The cowards can't fight us with facts or logic, so they snipe at trivial issues.

I long ago read a memoir by William Safire of his time as a speechwriter for Nixon. President Nixon had three speechwriters, and he would review speeches, annotate them, and pass them on to a different writer for whatever that man's particular strength was. I remember that Pat Buchanan was his go-to guy for toughening up a speech, and making it more pugnacious! Nixon was using them as tools, to get the speech he wanted.

Posted by John Weidner at September 9, 2009 7:54 AM
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