President sends speechwriters back to drawing board, demands more candor

Yesterday’s Tribune newspapers carried a behind-the-scenes story about the making of President Obama’s June 4 Cairo address, on the Middle East. The story is full of juice, some of which will make long-suffering communication aides drool.

“I know you’ve been under a lot of pressure to get this right,” Obama tells his speechwriters at one point. “But this speech is way too cautious. We have to say everything and say everything candidly. I’m not going all the way to Cairo to do anything else.”

Apparently foreign-policy speechwriter Ben Rhodes expressed relief at the criticism, and went happily back to work with his gloves off.

Well if you got that kind of direction from your client, wouldn’t you?

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