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Speechwriter

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NEWS
January 4, 1999 | By Thomas J. Brady, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
John Bird, 88, who worked as a speechwriter for Dwight D. Eisenhower and as a senior editor of the Saturday Evening Post, died Wednesday of bladder and lung cancer at his daughter's home in McLean, Va. He had lived in the Philadelphia area for many years. Mr. Bird, who was born in Hays, Kan., received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kansas State University in 1932. He first went to Washington in 1933 as senior secretary to U.S. Rep. Kathryn O'Loughlin McCarthy (D., Kan.)
NEWS
February 11, 1986 | By Ellen Goodman
The State of the Union address did not carry a line of credits to Bently T. Elliot and all the guys at the White House. It will go down in history as the words of the Great Communicator, not the Great Communicator's speechwriters. There is no surprise in this, no cause for scandal or even a lifted eyebrow. It is not just the actor-politician who says what others have written. Few of our leaders write their own words these days or these decades. The ghostwriter was surely a shadowy figure when the word first appeared in the 1880s - someone who "unknown to the public does literary or artistic work for which another gets all the credit and most of the cash.
NEWS
February 1, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Facing what political observers say could be a key moment in his reelection bid, Gov. Corbett has hired the man who crafted some of President George W. Bush's most memorable remarks to help write the budget address he will deliver Tuesday. Despite a stable of speechwriters in the Governor's Office, Corbett's campaign will pay John P. McConnell to fine-tune the presentation, the closest thing in Pennsylvania politics to a State of the Union address. The governor's campaign confirmed Thursday that it would pick up the tab but declined to say how much it would pay McConnell, author or coauthor of Bush's 2005 inaugural speech, four State of the Union addresses, and other public statements.
NEWS
August 31, 2012
YOU EVER HEAR of the Judson Welliver Society? It's one of the most exclusive social clubs in the world, composed exclusively of former presidential speechwriters. It's named after Judson C. Welliver, President Warren Harding's "literary clerk," credited with being the first presidential speechwriter. Thursday night was GOP Republican nominee Mitt Romney's last, best chance to introduce (or reintroduce) himself to the American people, whom he is asking for a job. He won't get an audience that large again until he debates President Obama.
NEWS
March 5, 1987 | Daily News Wire Services
When the strategy sessions began last week on the address President Reagan gave last night, a key figure was a man some call "Nancy Reagan's favorite speechwriter. " He is Landon Parvin, 38, who was on the White House staff as a speechwriter during Reagan's first term. In 1985, when he opened his own business as a communications consultant, one of his first customers was the First Lady. That's not surprising, considering that many gave Parvin the credit for snatching Nancy Reagan out of the jaws of a public outcry in 1981, when she was new to the White House.
NEWS
September 20, 1987 | By Jeff Greenfield
Late one night in the midst of Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign, chief speechwriter Adam Walinsky tossed away the last volume of collected quotations and shook his head. "Somewhere," he said to his junior partner, "there has to be some line from somebody about how the battle for freedom is what produces freedom. " A few minutes later, his junior partner - your obedient servant - triumphantly produced a piece of paper on which was typed this deathless sentence: "As the poet said, 'Men forge their freedom only in the struggle to be free.
NEWS
October 4, 1987 | By Calvin Trillin
Well, sure, there's been talk about reviving my presidential candidacy. I won't deny it. After all, the other guys are dropping like flies. It's more and more likely that the convention is going to turn to someone who's been standing, in a dignified way, on the sidelines. So there's talk, there's talk. Just the other day, for instance, my wife said, "You can't be serious!" So, sure, there's talk. Under the circumstances, I thought it would be unwise for me to say anything for the record concerning Joe Biden's quick trip down the tubes - although it's also true that nobody asked.
NEWS
August 20, 1988 | By Beth Gillin, Inquirer Staff Writer
The first time she met with Vice President Bush, he had his feet up on a coffee table and looked very laid back. "A comma in an easy chair," Peggy Noonan jotted in her notebook. That description, which Noonan recalled in a column she wrote for the Los Angeles Times in June, reveals as much about Noonan's keen eye, easy wit and poetic Irish soul as it does about Bush's off-camera style. President Reagan knew it, and George Bush appreciates it, too. Peggy Noonan has an appreciation for the subtleties of language, a gift for cadence, a knack for imagery.
NEWS
November 25, 2000 | By Robert Reno
The death toll in America's bitterly contested election has so far been exactly zero, an encouraging contrast to recent experience in some less fortunate nations. I worry, though. The Clinton and Gore haters are dreadfully overwrought about the impending "theft" of this election. Peggy Noonan, the blond Bush and Reagan speechwriter who's adorable when she's not hysterical, has worked herself into a state of beastly dementia in the pages of the The Wall Street Journal. I'm terribly concerned she'll fall over and hurt herself.
NEWS
February 25, 1996 | By Donna St. George, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
When Patrick J. Buchanan didn't seem to have a prayer of landing the Republican nomination, his politics were shrugged off by many people as those of a guy on the fringe. But Buchanan is the hot candidate now - the winner in New Hampshire and the Republican defining his party's campaign. And the questions arise: To what degree is he a racist? An anti-Semite? A sexist? A homophobe? His acquaintances and writings paint a picture of a man who is not hostile in his personal behavior - but a master of hostile politics.
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NEWS
February 1, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis and Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Facing what political observers say could be a key moment in his reelection bid, Gov. Corbett has hired the man who crafted some of President George W. Bush's most memorable remarks to help write the budget address he will deliver Tuesday. Despite a stable of speechwriters in the Governor's Office, Corbett's campaign will pay John P. McConnell to fine-tune the presentation, the closest thing in Pennsylvania politics to a State of the Union address. The governor's campaign confirmed Thursday that it would pick up the tab but declined to say how much it would pay McConnell, author or coauthor of Bush's 2005 inaugural speech, four State of the Union addresses, and other public statements.
NEWS
October 15, 2012
No mystery about the trajectory of this race. It was static for months as President Obama held a marginal lead. Then came the conventions. The Republicans squandered Tampa; the Democrats got a 3- to 4-point bounce out of Charlotte. And kept it. Until the first debate. In 90 minutes, Mitt Romney wiped out the bump - and maybe more. Democrats were shellshocked and searching for excuses. Start with scapegoats: the hapless John Kerry, Obama's sparring partner in the practice debates, for going too soft on the boss; then the debate moderator for not exerting enough control.
NEWS
August 31, 2012
YOU EVER HEAR of the Judson Welliver Society? It's one of the most exclusive social clubs in the world, composed exclusively of former presidential speechwriters. It's named after Judson C. Welliver, President Warren Harding's "literary clerk," credited with being the first presidential speechwriter. Thursday night was GOP Republican nominee Mitt Romney's last, best chance to introduce (or reintroduce) himself to the American people, whom he is asking for a job. He won't get an audience that large again until he debates President Obama.
NEWS
September 22, 2001 | By Jackie Koszczuk INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Presidential speechwriter Michael Gerson once described his job as fairly workaday, except for those infrequent occasions when he can sense that his scratchings on yellow legal paper may be bound for history. There may even come a day, Gerson said, "when you are writing for the angels. For some great and decisive moment. " For the 37-year-old son of an ice cream maker, that moment came Thursday night. In what was arguably the most important speech of George W. Bush's presidency, Gerson managed to convey in words precisely what the nation wanted to hear, by most analyses.
NEWS
November 25, 2000 | By Robert Reno
The death toll in America's bitterly contested election has so far been exactly zero, an encouraging contrast to recent experience in some less fortunate nations. I worry, though. The Clinton and Gore haters are dreadfully overwrought about the impending "theft" of this election. Peggy Noonan, the blond Bush and Reagan speechwriter who's adorable when she's not hysterical, has worked herself into a state of beastly dementia in the pages of the The Wall Street Journal. I'm terribly concerned she'll fall over and hurt herself.
NEWS
January 4, 1999 | By Thomas J. Brady, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
John Bird, 88, who worked as a speechwriter for Dwight D. Eisenhower and as a senior editor of the Saturday Evening Post, died Wednesday of bladder and lung cancer at his daughter's home in McLean, Va. He had lived in the Philadelphia area for many years. Mr. Bird, who was born in Hays, Kan., received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kansas State University in 1932. He first went to Washington in 1933 as senior secretary to U.S. Rep. Kathryn O'Loughlin McCarthy (D., Kan.)
NEWS
February 25, 1996 | By Donna St. George, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
When Patrick J. Buchanan didn't seem to have a prayer of landing the Republican nomination, his politics were shrugged off by many people as those of a guy on the fringe. But Buchanan is the hot candidate now - the winner in New Hampshire and the Republican defining his party's campaign. And the questions arise: To what degree is he a racist? An anti-Semite? A sexist? A homophobe? His acquaintances and writings paint a picture of a man who is not hostile in his personal behavior - but a master of hostile politics.
NEWS
September 6, 1992 | By CALVIN TRILLIN
But didn't you once work as a campaign-speechwriter yourself?" I was asked, after observing last week that writing campaign speeches is to writing what making mud pies is to cooking. Well, yes, I did work as a speechwriter many years ago. The way I prefer to put it is that I wrote speeches for the last successful Democratic peace candidate - Lyndon B. Johnson. At the time, Johnson was running against Sen. Barry Goldwater - someone the President accused of being reckless enough to consider sending American boys to fight a ground war in Southeast Asia.
NEWS
August 31, 1989 | By Nancy M. Barnes, Special to The Inquirer
Last weekend, Joan Detz stood at a lectern behind a row of yellow mums and looked out at an audience of 1,700 - students, their families and friends. Then she began giving the summer commencement address at Millersville University, her alma mater. A professional speechwriter for business executives, Detz was ready to practice what she has preached during her nine-year career. In her 15-minute speech, she referred to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who, she said, had a dream, not a five-year plan.
NEWS
November 19, 1988 | By TED CRON
After suffering through a year of incessant and forgettable campaign oratory, it is comforting to turn today to Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, an example of how good our national oral literature can be. It's unique for a number of reasons. First, it's only 10 sentences long; most speakers today are introduced with twice that number. But because it is so brief, the address is usually called to mind intact even by people with poor memories. Second, Lincoln used such direct and familiar language that the speech seems to unroll in one's memory as soon as the first five words are recalled - "Fourscoure and seven years ago . . . " - and its cadences echo those in the family Bible.
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