Evaluating Advice of White House Insiders

Hugh Hewitt (when he wrote) “Clinton need only hire good writers to ensure success” (“Onetime White House Insiders Share Benefits of Experience,” Commentary, Jan. 17) needs to be reminded to distinguish between first-stringers and the bench.

Let us now praise speech writers--especially when they didn’t write for great speechmakers. Would Hewitt have us believe that Winston Churchill’s “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” and Roosevelt’s " . . . the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” were written by speech writers?

Placing Winston Churchill and F.D.R.'s “greatness is in the words” valuation alongside Presidents Bush, Reagan and Nixon--"the (speech writers’) talent was deep"--is to sadly confuse greatness with mediocrity.

Great leaders utter their own great words; that’s part of their greatness.


It points up another distressing truth of our day: The less talent, the greater the need to depend on others to “create” (lip-sync) one’s words, and sadly encouraged by “So let’s hope Clinton recruits a deep bench over in speech writing. And that he then spends the time with his writers that they, and the country, deserve.”

Better let Clinton reflect on true greatness, and hopefully the words will come.

If not, no one else can substitute for another’s eminence--the “bench,” in case Hewitt forgot to finish his analogy--always hit for themselves.



Costa Mesa