Category Archives: General

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

SOU and “I”

Mr. Obama’s first State of the Union Address: good speech — and not so good. On one hand, the President can be extremely appealing. Numerous times in the evening, I found myself liking him — particularly when he seemed to break from text and, with a smile, remind both parties of their common duty to […]

Carrying On Without ED

One commenter — “Pedro” — suggested that Ed write under a pseudonym. I’m for it. I tried to persuade him to stay on as a contributor. I thought, well, some say WHWG is a kind of think tank as well as a communications and policy consulting firm — so why not create a WHWG Fellows […]

We Had a Bad Candidate, Redux

Hey kids, see if you can pick the correct line in tomorrow’s talking points for White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Will it be” “Last night’s election was a fluke”?  Or? “It was indicative of nothing more than a single vote on a single night.” Or?  “It was a snapshot.” Or? “We had a bad […]

Harry Qua Harry

As any PR flak knows, the best way to knock your client’s bad news off the front pages is for worse news to catch reporters’ attention. Less scrupulous hucksters will fabricate rumors and stories to help move the media. But sometimes events just fall into place. So it’s been for Harry Reid. When news broke […]