Friday, October 01, 2004 +

Bush's Words

This letter appeared in the New York Times on Sept 27, 2004. Jake Holden is a friend and neighbor of ours.

To the Editor:

Any claim that President Bush's words are "the operational vehicles" of his integrity, "the visible manifestation of the character," is belied by the fact, which Stanley Fish notes, that the president does not write his own speeches.

Mr. Fish says that Mr. Bush and his speechwriters "deserve credit for using the accident of euphony to give the argument cohesiveness and force." This implies that the president plays a lead role in writing his own speeches, that they really are his words.

But if the president's inability to speak coherently when he does not have a prepared text to read from is any indication, he is no writer and, in all likelihood, does not even know what euphony is, let alone how to create it.

John J. Holden
Albany, Sept. 24, 2004
The writer is an assistant professor of English at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.