Author Archives: Jeff Nussbaum (WWW)

Can We Learn Any Lessons From Qadhafi’s Speech to the UN?

Last night, I ran into a friend of mine who works for our ambassador to the United Nations.  Before we’d even said hello, I blurted out, “I need to see a transcript of Qadhafi’s speech.” I wanted to look at it, not as a policy document, but as a speechwriter.  What makes a speech an […]

Thoughts on Civility

Over the last 48 hours, most of the water cooler talk in our office has been about Joe Wilson’s outburst during President Obama’s address to the joint session of Congress.  My colleague, Jeff Shesol, helped put my rage at Wilson’s rage in perspective in this recent post to Politico’s Arena.  He came across a letter in which […]

Royalty A-Twitter

It’s usually not a good thing when a member of a royal family has everyone a-twitter, but in this case, we’re not talking about providing tabloid fodder.  Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, who last year broke new cross-cultural ground with her “Send Me Your Stereotypes” endeavor on YouTube (and won YouTube’s first Visionary […]

6 Ways to Make a Commencement Speech Soar

“Commencement speeches,” the cartoonist Garry Trudeau once quipped, “were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated.” As commencement season rolls around, this post falls (once again) into the category of shameless self promotion.  But as two of the many who […]

Barack Obama And The Return of Eloquence

Has Barack Obama brought eloquence back to 21st-century politics for good? That’s the question  (hagiographical as it may be) that animates the BBC’s new documentary, Yes We Can! The Lost Art of Oratory. Full disclosure:  I was interviewed for this series, although I haven’t yet figured out if I outmuscled — our out-talked — the likes of […]

Who is this guy?

The unwritten rule among speechwriters is that we are heard, but rarely heard from. But what about when they’re heard from, without actually ever being heard.  Such is the strange case of Jacob Rigg, who has been making a name for himself in the UK claiming to be an Obama speechwriter. And give him credit […]