I just heard President Bush say of the new immigration reform bill: "Unregistered immigrants will not be treated with amnesty, but also not with animosity." I chuckled out loud; nice word play, President Bush!
When I was a kid and heard that the president uses speechwriters, I was a little bit dismayed and a whole lot intrigued. I think I'd like that job: putting words to the seminal moments in political history, giving voice to the nation's inarticulate pain in the wake of tragedy, filling page after page in historical anthologies. That'd be a good gig--like back-seat driving the president.
I remember Chris Matthews's ("Welcome to Hardball!") reaction to Al Gore's concession speech after the disputed presidential election in 2000. Matthews--a former speechwriter for President Carter, I believe--was nearly in tears as he talked about the brilliance of the speech, the place it will take in the historical record, the punctuation it added to the political process. I think he was a little jealous of Gore--and, I suppose, of whoever Gore used to write the speech.
I learned a bit from 24 about how the speechwriting process works. The president actually is an active participant; for the speechwriter it's partly taking dictation, partly practicing intuition, partly writing creatively. It's probably a little bit (only a little bit, I assure you) like the process of the writing of Holy Scripture.
That'd be a good gig too, actually. To be Luke or Habakkuk or Moses or 2 Peter--to enter into some literary matrix of divine dictation, inspiration and imagination. If I had my choice, I think I would have written Isaiah or 1 Samuel--but I would have called that one the "Book of David" for sure. Which portions of the Bible do you wish had your name on it?
Don't freak out. Just play along.