I have been delighted by the huge number of e-mails — all positive — that I’ve received about my “Reagan at Notre Dame.” But I want to draw readers’ attention to one comment in particular — from Reagan’s chief speechwriter, Tony Dolan — because it adds to the historical record.
I had written,
The Notre Dame speech was crafted by chief speechwriter Tony Dolan, with a few edits from the president, as can be seen in a marked-up draft at the Reagan Presidential Library (“Presidential Speeches,” Box 1, Folder 7). As Dolan is always quick to acknowledge, the speech is “Reagan’s,” as it was written quintessentially for Reagan alone, based on his ideas, his voice, and with phrases he himself had used. Dolan could not have written such a speech for anyone but Reagan, nor would anyone but Reagan have signed off on it.
In fact, Dolan reveals — in the Comments section following my article — that Reagan had completely rewritten the speech. I was unaware of that, since the draft in question never made its way into the Reagan Library. I have corrected the passage in my article accordingly.