A surrogate eulogist

Longtime George H.W. Bush speechwriter Mary Kate Cary served as an unofficial but credible eulogist in the days after Barbara Bush's passing.

Jeb Bush’s fine eulogy of his mother is our Vital Speech of the Week, but speechwriter Mary Kate Cary is our vital speechwriter of the week. Cary, who wrote speeches for President George H.W. Bush during and after his presidency, was on PBS and NPR and in The Washington Post, saying gracious and articulate things about the First Lady and the Bushes.

And telling stories like this one, from her essay in the Post:

There was one lost soul [Barbara Bush] took in years ago, a near-deaf orphaned young man named Don Rhodes who volunteered for her husband’s 1964 Senate campaign. The Bushes kept him on their personal payroll until his death in his 70s; they were as generous to Don as they were quiet about it. Not many people knew about Don, to the point that if folks told me they were “very good friends” of the Bushes, I’d reply, “Oh, then you must know Don Rhodes?” If the answer was no, that told me all I needed to know.

Speechwriter, if you ever worked for a speaker you loved, be ready to be useful around that person’s funeral, the way Mary Kate Cary was around this one. —DM

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