Presidents use the power of speech to persuade, console, encourage and inspire. On a “BullyPulpit” Edition of Truth, Politics and Power, Host Neal Conan speaks with linguist John McWhorter about the distinctive cadences of President Barack Obama plus extended conversations with former Presidential speechwriters Peter Robinsonand Paul Glastrison the purpose and meaning of the rhetoric of the presidents they wrote for – Reagan and Clinton – and President Trump’s prolific use of twitter to send messages that are both often petty and untrue.
John Mc Whorter
PAUL GLASTRIS was the chief speechwriter for President Bill Clinton. He’s currently the editor in chief of Washington Monthly magazine. Prior to joining the Clinton Administration Glastris spent 10 years with US News and World Report.
PETER ROBINSON was a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. He authored Reagan’s famous 1987 Berlin Wall speech in which the president called on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” Robinson is currently Murdoch Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University where he hosts “Uncommon Knowledge,” a web-based video program. He’s also the author of How Reagan Changed My Life.