The New Vision

THE NEW VISION….Do Democrats need some of that old JFK magic? Failing that, how about some magic from JFK’s speechwriter instead? We asked Theodore Sorensen to try his hand at writing a convention acceptance speech for the winning Democratic nominee in 2008, and the result is in our July/August issue. Here’s a piece:

In this campaign, I will make no promises I cannot fulfill, pledge no spending we cannot afford, offer no posts to cronies you cannot trust, and propose no foreign commitment we should not keep. I will not shrink from opposing any party faction, any special interest group, or any major donor whose demands are contrary to the national interest. Nor will I shrink from calling myself a liberal, in the same sense that Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt, John and Robert Kennedy, and Harry Truman were liberals — liberals who proved that government is not a necessary evil, but rather the best means of creating a healthier, more educated, and more prosperous America.

For more about the art of presidential speechmaking, also check out this issue’s Editor’s Note from Paul Glastris, formerly a speechwriter for Bill Clinton. The words matter, he says, but the person matters even more.

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