No Computer for Kerry As He Writes Speech

AP – No Computer for Kerry As He Writes Speech

John Kerry (news – web sites) has given hundreds of speeches in his life, but none more important than the address he is busy drafting with pen to pad, on his own, and with special care.

Kerry won’t reveal what he’s writing in anticipation of accepting the Democratic nomination for president at the party convention in Boston, other than to say that he’s trying to make sure to tell voters about the choice they face in the November election. Even its length is a secret.

But after two days of composing drafts at his home in Boston, Kerry divulged a few details about his writing process. Kerry said he considers the speech deeply personal, so he is writing it himself and not sharing much with his advisers. He got some help from former Clinton speechwriter Josh Gottheimer. Soon, he said, he’ll bring in his whole speechwriting team to work on the address, which millions of people are expected to watch during a live prime-time broadcast July 29. “I don’t feel any pressure,” Kerry told reporters on a flight to Philadelphia. “I really don’t. I feel completely calm and very excited about it, looking forward to a chance to share what this is about.”

Kerry said he writes in long hand, then cuts and pastes pieces of the speech to reorganize his thoughts. He uses old-fashioned scissors and glue, not the computer keystrokes modern writers are accustomed to.

Are we really supposed to believe that Kerry, dog tired from months of campaigning, is writing his own speech? I don’t doubt that he edits things that are submitted to him by speechwriters or contributes some ideas. But actually sits down and writes it? And then cuts it up into little pieces, saving the good lines, and pastes them onto other pieces of paper? I’m glad the AP reporter is giving him the benefit of the doubt here but maybe a little skepticism is in order.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    I think it’s good to know they’re keeping his little fingers busy — but watch him to make sure he doesn’t eat the paste.

  2. McGehee says:

    (Something tells me Johnnie Edwards isn’t very helpful in that regard…)