Pundit Wire

Donald Trump Fires Up Evangelicals

8567813820_57dc199e5f_oWhat could Trump—a man who openly admits that he has never asked God for forgiveness—possibly say to a group of Evangelical Christians? So I put on my speechwriter’s cap, and here is my naughty speechwriter’s version of what a Donald Trump speech to Evangelicals might sound like:

I’m very glad you’re here today, because it’s very important that you should understand why I, Donald Trump, should be the standard bearer for Evangelical Christians in the 2016 presidential election.

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Is Speechwriting Spiritual Death?

Bette_Davis_-_portraitSome years ago, a speechwriter friend of mine sent me an obituary on ghostwriter Sandford Doty.

I had never heard of Doty but, as it turned out, I had heard of his work. He had ghosted the memoirs of such luminaries as Robert Merrill, Judy Garland, Bette Davis and Helen Hayes.

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Ruthless

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 1.48.16 PMIn her August 16 column in the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus paraphrases Carly Fiorina from 2008, saying something positive about Hillary Clinton… But then in addition I see quotation marks and the words, punctiliously noted from seven years ago, “That’s off the record.”

Wow, reminds me of the Wild West days of Spanish journalism of the early 1990s, when scribes would quote embassy officials of various countries, “…and he said, off the record [sic], ‘yes no maybe…’” I remember helping one journalist find someone to quote back then, and then never being forgiven (me!) because of the offending violation of basic rules of decency.

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Bulldoze the Lincoln Memorial?

Lincoln MemorialThe state Democratic parties of Iowa, Georgia, Connecticut and Missouri have recently voted to remove the names of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from their traditional Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners. The reason is that Jefferson and Jackson were both white males who owned slaves.

As Andy McGuire, Iowa Democratic chairwoman declared: “It is important to change the name of the dinner to align with the values of our modern-day Democratic Party: inclusiveness, diversity and equality.”
The Democratic parties of at least five other states are considering the same change.

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A Speechwriter’s Hell

2Barton Swaim’s new book, The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics, took me back to my own fumbling beginnings as a wordsmith. Flipping through the pages, I felt again what it was like to be sitting in the audience as fledgling speechwriter, listening to an important public figure deliver a speech that I had written, with “ears greedy for my own words.”

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Trumpery

Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_3_(cropped)The American Heritage Dictionary defines “trumpery” as follows:
1. Showy but worthless finery; bric-a-brac.
2. Nonsense; rubbish.
3. Deception; trickery; fraud.

In all, not a bad word to describe Donald Trump’s campaign for president.

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“Have you no decency, sir?

Donald_Trump_March_2015So Donald Trump says that Sen. John McCain, who was a POW for over five years during the Vietnam War, who was tortured horribly during his confinement and who refused an offer of early release is “not a war hero.”

I am reminded of what a lawyer named Joseph Welch said over 60 years ago to another blustering bombastic bully who, to the shame of the GOP, was also a Republican: “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

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Pirates!!!!!

unnamed-2Houston’s beloved Gilbert and Sullivan Society is giving six performances of The Pirates of Penzance this month.

Houstonians will once again have the chance to tap their toes to Sullivan’s rollicking tunes and to chuckle over Gilbert’s satirical gags, which can still hit the mark even after 136 years.

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