The Blog

Bush's Ghost

The former White House speechwriter who's assisting Bush on his memoirs.

7:34 AM, Mar 9, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Check out Bryan Curtis's interesting profile of Christopher Michel, the 28-year-old former speechwriter who is collaborating with President Bush on the latter's forthcoming Decision Points. One false note:

Michel's rise was so rapid that the Israeli Knesset episode stood out as a detour, a rare false note. On May 15, 2008, Bush was set to toast Israel's 60th birthday, and Michel wrote a tribute that Latimer said should have been his pièce de résistance as a speechwriter. But after the draft got a working-over in editing, Bush stood in the Knesset and attacked those who would negotiate with terrorist groups as offering "the false comfort of appeasement." It sounded like Bush was blasting then-candidate Obama—and from foreign soil, no less. In his memoir Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor, Latimer says the line was inserted by Thiessen and approved by Bush. (Michel and Thiessen refuse to comment.) Critics dubbed the "appeasement speech" a low moment in Bush rhetoric.

What do they know? I happen to think the address to the Knesset was one of the finest speeches of Bush's presidency. You can read it here.

Recent Blog Posts