Author Archives: Clark S. Judge (WHWG)

Review of Chris Christie RNC Keynote

From WHWG & Reagan speechwriting shop colleague Josh Gilder, emailed just as Christie was finishing: “A lot of generalities…shades of Mondale (“shared sacrifice”)…not concrete or specific enough to make the case against Obama or for Romney…even his own story about what he did in NJ wasn’t really compelling… “Saying we need leaders to change polls, […]

Communications Advice for Mitt Romney

From my weekly column on Anyone who has been in a presidential campaign knows that everyone has advice for how you can do better. Right now everyone is telling Mitt Romney: You need to do a better job of connecting. Not me. Yes, I have advice – just not that advice. The campaign is […]

What has the long primary march gained the GOP?

Both Romney and Santorum gave strong speeches tonight, primary night in Michigan and Arizona. Both are focusing their indictments of the president: Santorum zeroing in on the administration’s anti-energy policy and the decline of manufacturing as a proportion of jobs; Romney going after spending, debt and growth broadly. Both have understood that the GOP can’t […]

SOTU Agenda: I rule the world

It sounded like such a soft, even conservative speech. But let me get this straight: 1) banks will be punished (do I understand this right, by a committee headed by Eric Holder?) if their lending is too risky, 2) and they will be required (by another special committee, I believe) to give more home loans […]

GOP Debate #1: Romney’s authenticity gap

Listening to the candidates debate tonight, I come away with one overriding feeling, a result both of how they delivered their remarks and what they actually said: Romney has memorized a series of positions; Gingrich has thought every issue through and is fully and emotionalluy committed to it. Though not close to catching a break […]

SC Gingrich Blowout

In his acceptance speech tonight, Newt Gingrich showed the power of the podium. He set the foundation for pulling his rivals behind him, should he win the nomination. He praised their speeches of the evening and said they are collectively representative of the nation. More, he began to define the fall campaign: Declaration of Independence […]

SC Second Debate: Gingrich Wins Again

Gingrich’s handling of the question about ABC interview with his second wife was brilliant. Who would have thought in such a position that the accused emerge as the man of passionate principle? It probably won not just the debate but the South Carolina primary for him. All the candidates were very strong, the best debating […]

In SC GOP Debate, looking for the WOW factor

The GOP candidates have become hugely impressive in debate. Informed. Able to turn attacks around and give it back even better. Crisp and detailed in laying out their positions. But Gingrich stood out. He got a standing ovation just before a commercial break. Throughout, he projected authenticity of passion. And again and again, he was […]

Tonight’s Presidential Address (from my column today on Hugh

Here is some advice to the White House about tonight’s presidential television address. I take an interest in presidential speech giving. I wrote speeches in the White House for nearly two-thirds of the Reagan presidency, the first half of that time for the Vice President, second half for the President. Presidential rhetoric is an instrument […]


OK, why was the SOU so flat? Well, #1) the buddy system seating — Ds mixed with Rs — apparently kept the Ds from getting up a wave. They were too dispersed. So the applause was too. It often sounded as though only one or two would start, then look around, see no one with […]

Time to give up on Oval Office speeches?

The best thing that can be said about last night’s second Oval Office performance is that it wasn’t as bad as Mr. Obama’s first Gulf Oil spill address. Still, it was pretty bad. The president announced that combat operations are over — but 50,000 troops (all combat trained, commentators said) are remaining, including 5,000 special […]

For Financiers, Glass Pockets Are No Longer Enough

In 1909, as the federal government was first moving towards regulation of the financial industry, J.P. Morgan is said to have told friends, “The time is coming when all business will have to be done in glass pockets.” Goldman Sachs is about to find that, for the financial world today, glass pockets are no longer […]

Time to Put Away Domestic Summits

The Obama White House seems to have two answers for every big communications challenge. The first, a presidential speech. The second, a domestic summit. We can debate later why the President’s speeches have stopped persuading the public. Here I want to say a word about all these domestic summits. The word is, Why? Why does […]

Michelle Obama Shows The Way

If the embattled OBama Administration wants a lesson in how to handle public communications, they could do no better than to watch and copy the First Lady. In a recent interview Mrs. Obama was asked to opine on former Alaska governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. This came days after White House Press Secretary […]

Ailes v Huffington: No Match

Roger Ailes and Arriana Huffington went head to head on today’s edition of ABC’s “This Week”. Ailes decked Huffington in Round One. She struggled back to her corner, went after him again for Round Two, and he decked her again. She didn’t come out for a third round. Ailes was prepared. With predictable left-wing sanctimony, […]