David Sanders worked for me the short time he was in the governor’s office. So did almost everyone he listed. He has research assistants confused with speechwriters. Huckabee used their facts, figures and quotes. But he never worked from prepared texts. David is just wrong.
I credited what Nelson told me because I had seen Huckabee give a fantastic speech with no notes at the National Review Institute summit. An aide beforehand, when I had asked about a prepared text, said the governor never had one. Could this be a dispute about what a “speechwriter” and “prepared text” is? Anyway, there are plenty of people out there who can provide more insight into this.
This is an email that David Sanders sent me a while ago:
I’m not surprised your source would tell you that I was mistaken…for years Huckabee wouldn’t allow these guys to be called speechwriters… it was more or less a point of pride, which is understandable to a certain degree. What’s funny is that Pyle and Peterson were listed as speechwriters on their business cards and the governor’s office Web site. Baker, Hayes, Pyle and Peterson and all wrote numerous prepared texts for Huckabee, which he used. Would he change a phrase occasionally? Sure, but he used the text. These guys don’t have axes to grind at all. Heck, Pyle still plays drums in Huck’s band.
Like your source, I’m also a former Huckabee aide from many moons ago. Most of those guys listed in my column I worked with directly. Many of them are good friends. They were speechwriters, not fact-checkers, who wrote prepared texts that Huck read from. Some of these guys work as speechwriters today for companies and organizations who consider lying on a résumé unacceptable.