The Corner

More Huckabee

Quin Hillyer takes a whack at the former governor here. Meanwhile, my source on the Huckabee speech-writing, a former aide named Rex Nelson (bio here) writes this:

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.

UPDATE:

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.

Most Popular

Media

The Unseemly Urge to Excuse Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, was suspended from his jobs and subjected to a round of public mockery for visibly exposing himself while masturbating on a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues. The call was designed to role-play post-election scenarios for a contested election; Toobin ... Read More
Media

The Unseemly Urge to Excuse Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, was suspended from his jobs and subjected to a round of public mockery for visibly exposing himself while masturbating on a Zoom call with New Yorker colleagues. The call was designed to role-play post-election scenarios for a contested election; Toobin ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Media

Jeffrey Toobin and Our Public-Hate Ritual

Oh, Jeffrey Toobin — let him among us with a free hand cast the first stone. Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker and fixture on CNN, was participating in a role-playing exercise on a Zoom call with his magazine colleagues, wargaming election-night scenarios. Toobin was standing in for the courts when he ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More