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December 29, 1978 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-12-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

,,
_1 (131! HalL fill E I H
NEWS
Friday,- DeceMber -29;1916- - THE BETRUIT JEWISH

J W S

i;

-

Say the Secret World . . . Speech Writer Appears

Dan Yessian
Associates

By DAVID SCHWARTZ

(Copyright 1978, JTA, Inc.)

Bernard Aaronson, 32,
has been made chief speech
writer for President Carter.
That is quite a responsibil-
ity, but he has the assis-
tance of three other speech
writers. The President
these days has to make a lot
of speeches and a staff of
four is kept busy at it.
We imagine Aaronson
sometimes must envy the
speech writer for Calvin
Coolidge. He probably
worked only an hour or so a
month. There is some dis-
pute whether Coolidge ever
made any speeches outside
of a few remarks now and
then to his wife.
Alexander Hamilton
wrote Washington's
farewell address but that
was not a speech. It was to
be read, not spoken.

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Abraham. Lincoln was a
good speaker. He didn't
have a speech writer. He did
ask a Chicago editor to look
over his Cooper Union ad-
dress in advance and the
editor did and suggested
some changes, but Lincoln
did not use any of the
changes.
Harry Truman didn't care
for ghosted speeches. When
Truman ran against Dewey,
all the papers predicted his
defeat. What saved him was
that he didn't use any
speech writers. In the last
few days before the election,
Truman, touring the coun-
try and "giving them hell"
as the expression goes, won
over the voters with his
plain speaking. The fancy
stuff doesn't get the votes.
It is said that the late
Golda Meir seldom wrote a
speech in advance. David
Ben-Gurion was not much
of a speaker. He didn't seem
to like spe'aking over the
radio. He made his first
radio speech in New York.
He came out of the studio
after the speech murmuring
in Yiddish "rayd zum vant"
(talk to the wall).

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Thomas Jefferson was
probably the best writer
in the country in his day,
but he was not much of a
speaker. He wrote the
Declaration of Indepen-
dence, but he did not do
any of the speaking on
the resolution for inde-
pendence.

Finn Pkirnituro and draped,* nod* in

,oar own workrooms for ow SO yeas

The speech writer may
think he has a hard job,
but sometimes the audi-
ence has a harder one, lis-
tening to the speech.
There is a verse in
Psalms, "I would rather

be a door keeper in the
House of the Lord than
dwel in the tents of wic-
kedness." Woodrow Wil-
son said the reason is that
the door keeper can eas-
ily escape if the speaker
is boring.

Jerome Braude has prop-
erly emphasized the impor-
tance of brevity. "If," he
said, "in your speech, you
have not struck oil in 10
minutes, stop boring."
There is the story of the
fellow who began his speech
asking, "What shall I talk
about?" Someone in the
audience yelled back —
"Talk about a minute and
shut up."

Yet oratory has its con-
quests. Patrick Henry
really moved the cause of
independence forward.
Remember Stephen Wise,
the rabbi of the Free

Synagogue? He was
rated by some as the best
public speaker in the
country. People of all
religions came to hear
him speak at the Free
Synagogue.

But one does not have to
be a great speaker to be a
leader. Moses, according to
the Bible, suffered from a
stammering defect. A noted
rabbi once said that if Moses
had been a speaker, the
Jews would still be enslave
in Egypt.

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