STICKING TO AN M.O. THAT WORKS…. Given the week’s events, this is just a trivial detail, but I found it interesting anyway.
John Dickerson, as part of a larger piece about President Obama’s remarks at the memorial service in Tucson, mentioned how the speech came together.
More than eloquence, the president also offered an argument, one he has been making for years. Aides say Obama stayed up all night working on the speech. We know that’s his way. But the speech wasn’t just the product of an all-nighter. It came from someone who thinks about children and the obligations of being a parent, who knows how it feels to be startled by your desperate love for a spouse whom you might have taken for granted in the rush of the day.
The president may not be emotional. But you can’t write that speech if you’re all ice water.
I saw this in a couple of different places yesterday — the president largely wrote the speech on his own, and he was up all night Tuesday getting it just right.
The significance of this is that it isn’t the first time. One of Obama’s most heralded speeches came in March 2008, when he spoke on race in America (the “More Perfect Union” speech). We learned later that Obama, pen in hand, had largely crafted the speech himself, and was up until 3 a.m. the night before making sure it was precisely what he wanted to say.
I can only imagine how crowded a presidential schedule is on a daily basis, but maybe Obama should do this before all of his major addresses? He seems to have a system that works here.
Also, White House political director Patrick Gaspard has told a story about when he first interviewed with then-Sen. Barack Obama, who boasted to Gaspard, “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters.”
It wasn’t exactly a modest sentiment, but it might true.