No Man Is a Hero to His Speechwriter. He’s Just a Reluctant Storyteller.
December 06, 2018
A former President George H.W. Bush speechwriter Mary Kate Cary recalls trying and failing to get the boss to tell war stories for a Pearl Harbor speech.
No man is a hero to his speechwriter. He’s just a reluctant storyteller. Bush 41 White House speechwriter Mary Kate Cary (who actually did idolize the president, and spent a couple of mornings on CNN this week saying so), remembers her frustration working with the president on a Dec. 7, 1991 speech marking the 50thanniversary of Pearl Harbor.
“He told me about all of the buddies he had lost, the circumstances of their deaths, and him having to write to their parents,” Cary told Time. “But every time he would tell me one of these stories, I’d say, ‘That’s an amazing story! Can I put that in the speech?’ And he’d say, ‘Oh, God no! You can’t use that. I’m just telling you that.’ And he wouldn’t let me use any of it! I pleaded, ‘Sir, give me something here!’ I think he knew he would get very emotional while talking about it, and he didn’t want that to happen.”