It’s always dicey when half-jealous journalists start evaluating speechwriters’ salaries, as the USA Today’s Paul Singer did last week. Singer noted that Sen. Marco Rubio pays a fulltime speechwriter $60K, even though he has only spoken on the Senate floor eight times since January, 2015. Rubio is one of seven Republican Senators who employ a fulltime speechwriter, and all those Senators speak more than Rubio, including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Jon Cornyn of Texas, who have each spoken more than 100 times. (Eleven Democratic Senators have speechwriters.)
Singer does quote Rubio’s spokesman as saying his speechwriter Robert Noel does more than write speeches. “He also helps write, edit and review Sen. Rubio's opinion columns, press releases and statements, letters to the administration, constituent correspondence and other written communications out of our Senate office.”
The story is well-enough balanced. Except, if you’re waiting for similar stories evaluating the salaries and duties of Senators’ other staffers, don’t hold your breath.