“They simply write what they want Goldwater to say and he says it”

This week the intrepid rhetorchiologists at Vital Speeches unearthed an Oct. 10, 1964 column by Drew Pearson that led this way:

Barry Goldwater was chatting with a friend in Lima, Ohio, while his train was being switched and remarked that he was waiting for public reaction to his “LBJ is soft on communism” charge before he plugged it further.

“Actually, that attack was suggested by Nixon and Herbert Hoover, Sr.,” Goldwater confided. We’re going to wait and see what the reaction is before we push it.”

A few hours later, newsmen were handed the text of the Goldwater speech for Indianapolis using the “soft on communism” theme again. Obviously, the speech had been written and was on the mimeograph machine when Goldwater remarked that he was going to wait for public reaction.

Later Judy Roony, one of Barry’s aides, admitted frankly that the Senator no longer had time to outline a speech for his writers. They simply write what they want Goldwater to say and he says it.

But Goldwater had his limits, according to his chief speechwriter Karl Hess:

“We want the senator to start using the name ‘Lyndon Bird Johnson.’ It drives the president crazy. But Barry refused to use it.”

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