You Can Say That Again, Mr. President …

April 4, 2012

I write this not just as a sadly-disappointed American, but as an outraged political speechwriter.  Back in the 70s, I was an economic development speechwriter for two South Carolina governors, John Edwards and Jim West; I’ve also served as a speechwriter for a variety of other officials and candidates, and I think I know a bit about speechwriting.

And one of the things I think I know is this:  Don’t repeat yourself.  That was true back in the 70s, before everybody and his brother Jack had video cameras and audio recording devices built into their smart phones, a fact which recognizes another fact – nothing is said in private, or before a narrowly-defined audience (if you don’t believe me, as Howard Dean or, actually, President Obama … remember “bitterly clinging …?”).

But apparently President Obama hasn’t learned – or doesn’t remember – that lesson, and also apparently, he has one speechwriter, a fellow equipped with a Xerox machine and a lazy streak a mile wide.  It seems that, whenever the President is meeting with a foreign head of state, he says the same thing to each of them.  If they’re from a small country, they “punch out of their weight class” (a boxing term suggesting that they’re more influential than their size would suggest), and, big-or-small, they are a “great and close ally.”  That’s it.  Whether you’re the leader of Ireland or South Korea, Denmark or the Philippines, Germany or France, Italy or Japan (or even Israel and Great Britain), you’re going to hear the same few hackneyed phrases.  I kid you not.

Just to prove I’m not making this up, check this out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=CyDlW-S4STY

Mr. President, you need a new speechwriter (not that I’m volunteering, mind you …).

Ned Barnett – Nevada Conservative

 

 


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