A Speechwriter’s Diary
July 26, 2015
Writing for Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was like "having to write 3,000 words of Hemingway prose every day while strapped to a roller coaster.”
As Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd’s fortunes rose and fell in the late 2000s, his speechwriter kept a diary. Not all of the excerpts Tim Dixon published recently require specific knowledge of Australian politics. For instance:
November 18, 2007 Kevin was interviewed by Michael Gawenda for The Age and was asked who was his speechwriter to which he said he did not have a speechwriter, he wrote his own stuff—the staff were laughing at this as it made me redundant… He hates being seen as a puppet of media advisers and political apparatchiks…
April 26, 2008 I was thinking yesterday why I was successful in finding the voice of Kim Beazley and even Mark Latham but can't find Kevin's voice in writing for him. Part of the answer is that he's the least authentic—and I'm not sure what he thinks his core is, beyond a general Labor belief in compassion and equity.
Ultimately, Dixon said, job “felt like having to write 3,000 words of Hemingway prose every day while strapped to a roller coaster.”