President-Elect Trump’s Effect on Rhetoric: CEO Speechwriters Now Must Be Careful!

Trump attack on Boeing recalls JFK's 1960s attack on "a tiny handful of steel executives."

Salient story of the week: Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg gave a speech last Friday at the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association in which he said in the typical corporate milquetoast tone, that Boeing is paying close attention to President-Elect Trump’s trade policies. Trump, who wasn’t named in the speech, may or may not have been responding to the speech, or a Tuesday morning Chicago Tribune article about it, when he tweeted on Tuesday morning that costs on a Boeing contract for the next Air Force One were “out of control” at more than $4 billion. “Cancel order!” When the market opened, Boeing’s stock fell nearly $2 a share, before rebounding in the afternoon.

Speechwriter: On or off the record, please tell me what you’re hearing from your CEO—or telling your CEO—about what seems to be the most truculent presidential corporate calling-out since JFK famously went after the steel industry in the 1960s, criticizing “a tiny handful of steel executives whose pursuit of power and profit exceeds their sense of public responsibility.” Write to editor at vsotd dot com. —DM

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