The Huffington Post reports this week that moderate Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown may be moving to the right in his campaign against Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Why? He paid ex-Bush speechwriters Matthew Scully and John McConnell each $7.500 for communications consulting. Among other things, McConnell wrote post 9/11 speeches for Bush, and Scully went on to write Sarah Palin’s famous vice presidential acceptance speech at the 2008 Republican Convention. The hiring of these two pistoleros represents, according to HuffPo, “an apparent departure from [Brown’s] ongoing effort to appear bipartisan and independent to voters in the deeply Democratic state.”
The logic here being, of course, that the speechwriters are the ones with convictions, personalities and distinctive voices, and a politician who wants to change his or her stripes needs to find the right speechwriter to fit.
Well, as the actress said to the bishop, just because it’s perverse doesn’t mean it might not be fun.
Speechwriters, let’s imagine together a new world where we’re in the driver’s seat, coming up with new policy ideas, introducing them to the world, fighting issues out with one another—and waiting for political candidates come to us begging to be allowed to carry our our ideas to the American people and turn them into law.
Not so fast, we’ll tell them. First, you have to prove you can speak in my writing voice.
Wow, man. Someone should write a utopian novel …. —DM