Editor’s Desk: FiveThirtyEight’s Perfect Republican Stump Speech

perfect republican From the Editor

FiveThirtyEight’s emphasis on exploring the use of data led to a recent post by former Republican speechwriter Barton Swaim, who was asked to create the “perfect Republican stump speech” based on commonly available data sources (Pew, Gallup, CBS News, etc). Continue reading Editor’s Desk: FiveThirtyEight’s Perfect Republican Stump Speech

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. Continue reading Is Speechwriting Spiritual Death?

Interview with PunditWire Co-Founder, Robert Lehrman

Bob-Lehrman-profile“I came of age during the Vietnam War. At the time I didn’t care about politics. I wanted to be the next Tolstoy… But what we did to Vietnam was so barbaric, it made me want to get into politics. I said, why not be Gandhi instead of Tolstoy?” Continue reading Interview with PunditWire Co-Founder, Robert Lehrman

Ukraine/Russia: Self-indulgent Speechwriting Pretending to be Policy

Russia Ukraine Let’s hop back to 7 July 2009. President Obama is addressing New Economic School students in Moscow, his first major speech to a Russian audience since his election. Vice President Biden will soon be in Ukraine to spell out the new Administration’s policies there too. Continue reading Ukraine/Russia: Self-indulgent Speechwriting Pretending to be Policy

Teaching The Vietnamese How To Write Speeches

vietnam 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. Continue reading Teaching The Vietnamese How To Write Speeches