Pres­i­dents and speech­writ­ers . . . 26

The Washington Times Weekly - - Page Two -

It was FDR, writes Robert Schlesinger, who first grasped the po­ten­tial of an emerg­ing mass me­dia and de­vel­oped in his fire­side chats and speeches a process that re­quired the ser­vices of speech­writ­ers. “Roo­sevelt’s gift,” Mr. Schlesinger says, “was to find peo­ple who could catch and aug­ment his own style, aides who could, to use a sports metaphor, help the pres­i­dent el­e­vate his own game.” Such peo­ple aren’t easy to find. Good speech­writ­ers tend to be good writ­ers, but good writ­ers are not al­ways good speech­writ­ers, as wit­ness John Stein­beck’s em­bar­rass­ing ef­forts, recorded by Mr. Schlesinger, to con­trib­ute to LBJ’s speeches.

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