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Contributed By:

Katharine Maclean

On The Job: Speechwriter

OPB | March 13, 2012 9:45 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 11:19 p.m.

Politicians routinely stand up in front of large crowds of people and lay out their policies, or defend their positions. However, behind every good speech is a good speechwriter, which is rarely the politician themselves.

Jim Pasero first decided to take on speech writing when he realized that the crux of politics came from the shaping of an argument. From there he wrote speeches for presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1988 and later for two other U.S. Senators before becoming the director of speechwriting for the Republican National Committee at the time of the George H.W. Bush re-election campaign in ‘92. He describes this as a time of transition, when writing conventional speeches had to be balanced with the need for written talking points and one-liners for TV interview shows.

What questions do you have about political speechwriting?

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