En­velopes, please . . .

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

CBS News an­chor Katie Couric, Vir­ginia Sen. Ge­orge Allen, Mas­sachusetts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney and en­ter­tainer Bill Cosby are among the year’s best — and worst — pub­lic speak­ers.

Each year, Aram Bak­shian Jr., who was di­rec­tor of pres­i­den­tial speech­writ­ing­dur­ingPres­i­den­tRea­gan’s first term in the White House, hav­ing­pre­vi­ous­ly­writ­te­nad­dresses for Richard M. Nixon and Ger­ald R. Ford, presents his Pa­trick Henry Awards as founder and ed­i­tor of “Amer­i­can Speaker,” an award-win­ning guide to suc­cess­ful speak­ing.

Mr. Bak­shian is al­low­ing us first crack at an­nounc­ing this year’s re­cip­i­ents, in­clud­ing:

MostCoura­geousS­peaker:Mr. Cosby,forhav­ingth­e­moral­courage to speak un­pleas­ant truths to un­will­ing au­di­ences, specif­i­cally ad­dress­ing the so­cial cri­sis fac­ing black Amer­ica.

Most Con­tra­dic­tory News An­chor De­but: Miss Couric, for suf­fer­ingfro­ma­sev­ere­case­of­stylis­tic­con­tra­dic­tions by go­ing from “perky,” “cute,” “bub­bly,” “fluffy” and “lib­eral” to need­ing to build a new per­sona as a se­ri­ous news heavy­weight.

Most Promis­ing Po­lit­i­cal De­but: Mr. Rom­ney, who over­came all the con­ven­tional odds as a Mor­mon and Repub­li­can in one of the mostCatholi­can­dDemo­crat­ic­states in the coun­try, win­ning high marks as both a re­former and a prac­ti­cal prob­lem solver.

Big­gest Po­lit­i­cal Blooper: Mr. Allen, who vir­tu­ally overnight went fromhugeap­proval­rat­ingsan­dan­in­creas­ing na­tional pres­ence as a pos­si­ble pres­i­den­tial con­tender in 2008 into the wood­shed af­ter la­bel­ing one ofhisop­po­nent’scam­paign­staffersa “macaca.”

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