Envelopes, please . . .
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.”