The greatest American civil rights leader of my lifetime was a South African. I say this not just because Nelson Mandela’s fight for equality and justice followed a path blazed by Henry David Thoreau and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I say this because he carried the torch for freedom at a time when it was under siege throughout the world. He held it high and with dignity, never letting it be extinguished by violence and recrimination.Read More
I’m giving a workshop for diplomats on speechwriting, with material I’ve used dozens of times. But this first day hasn’t gone well in Hanoi.
Yes, Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, the country that once consumed me and my friends, then mostly left our minds in 1975, shortly after Marine helicopters lifted the last refugees and Americans off the roof of the US embassy. The country that in the past four decades has tripled in population, reduced poverty, and, not without missteps, created a nimble hybrid of communism and capitalism that’s brought 6 percent economic growth a year since 2000.Read More »
The numerous and lengthy retrospectives on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination last week omitted a detail that is of particular interest to speechwriters, and one that should make us proud. On that terrible November 22nd, it was a speechwriter who helped to calm a distraught nation and smooth the transition of power from JFK to our new president, Lyndon Johnson.Read More »
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is the most famous speech in American history. It is a speech that virtually all Americans have heard of, and that more than a few of us know by heart. And yet on this, its 150th anniversary, how well do we really know it?Read More »
It’s only a matter of time before a Sarah Palin names these death rocks “Obamacare asteroids.” A Ted Cruz also will liken Obamacare to an asteroid, assuring us Obamacare has a 100 percent chance of causing Armageddon. Some concern troll will say that the beleaguered White House “needs a Bruce Willis” to rescue it from losing the Senate and seeing its legacy repealed.Read More »
Texas Governor Rick Perry has recently taken to appearing around the country at political events and in television interviews wearing stylish dark-rimmed eyeglasses. And, while, according to some observers, his new specs made him look smarter, he continues to display a profound case of myopia.Read More »
So you want to learn how to speak “Politician.” Terrific! First, you’ll have to unlearn traditional English, with its emphasis on making rational thoughts clear through words. Instead, obfuscate with half-truths — or better yet, quarter- and eighth-truths. Let’s get started!Read More »
Thank you. It is an honor to join you tonight.
First, a message for the media. Yes, I am running. I’m going to hit the hotel treadmill around 7 a.m. tomorrow. Right after I watch Duck Dynasty.Read More »