PHILADELPHIA: Only days before George W. Bush was to deliver his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, the campaign remained tight-lipped about how the candidate would handle the white-hot political spotlight.
PHILADELPHIA: Only days before George W. Bush was to deliver his
acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, the campaign
remained tight-lipped about how the candidate would handle the white-hot
Mike Gerson, the writer who political observers believe penned the lines
for Bush’s big night, went out of his way to avoid attention, denying
requests for an interview about his role in developing Bush’s
Still, this much is all but assured: when Bush steps up to the podium in
Philadelphia, it will be the most important moment in his political
’The American people will be watching to see what George W. Bush will do
in the White House,’ said Edelman/DC SVP Steven Akey, a Gore backer.
Added Marshall Wittman, director of congressional relations for the
Heritage Foundation, ’I would suspect that ’compassionate conservatism’
will be the core of the speech.’
This strategy makes sense, according to Democratic pollster Brad
’Those themes take the edge off issues like education and Social
Security that help the Democratic candidate,’ he explained.
Given that they shape messages as well as words, speechwriters have
often been billed as the hidden PR weapon in many political campaigns.
Gerson, who has penned speeches for former senator Dan Coats, Jack Kemp
and Bush, is considered one of the most innovative and PR-savvy writers
’All three (politicians) have tried to be a different kind of
Republican,’ Wittman said. Coats has been given credit for advancing an
embryonic form of ’compassionate conservatism’ by addressing the
importance of faith-based institutions in dealing with social problems.
Bush became a booster of such groups during his stint as Texas governor
and will probably reiterate this interest in his acceptance speech.
Chriss Winston, who managed speechwriting for Bush’s father, thinks the
acceptance speech will be even more important this year given the lack
of network coverage. ’The focus will be on that speech,’ he said.