Tuesday, October 12, 2004

[S]ome thoughts about... folks who... take credit for language [of] anonymous individuals

Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 9:44 PM

Larry,

We all know that many if not most (all?) of the speeches that various politicians give at various levels are written by staffers. You can tell who's got a really good staff by the speeches the office holders deliver, and whether they are actively seeking higher officer, or just holding on to a safe seat, is often reflected by the quality of research and writing in the speeches they deliver in their own name.

I once heard Ted Kennedy give a speech at the old Charlestown Navy Yard. The USS Bunker Hill was being commissioned. He remarked that he had never been in the military, or the Navy, but that his brothers had; and that John rose from ensign, to "ensign j.g." to lieutenant.

Well, there is no such rank as ensign j.g. The audience groaned. Obviously, not a lot of time or thought or careful prep went into the speech, and it wasn't checked, at least not adequately. Perhaps even more telling, he did not once mention the prime contractor on the ship, Raytheon, one of the largest, if not the largest, employers in Massachusetts.

On the other hand, I heard John Kerry give a speech for the commissioning of the USS Ramage, and whatever one thinks of him, on that occasion he delivered a well-informed, accurate, carefully prepared talk.

Just some thoughts about another class of folks who routinely take credit for language put together by anonymous individuals.

Enjoyed the conference, and seeing and talking with you again. I have some thoughts; perhaps we can discuss later.

Michael Chesson

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