Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Barack Obama - editor

Why haven't the White House speechwriters learned to double-space?  
Click HERE for a zoomable version which enables you to see Barack Obama's edits of the draft State of the Union Address.

1 comment:

  1. Professor Conk,

    In my experience as a professional speechwriter for religious leaders on both global and national levels (the names of whom I cannot disclose), this text which you post, with markups, is not at all unusual.

    It is not uncommon for these types of drafts to go through double, if not triple digits, before reaching their final form prior to delivery by the principal (in this case, the President).

    What matters most is not the "spacing;" but, rather, the "system" which the principal (the President) and his speechwriters, have developed so that expectations may be both understood and met as to 1) how the draft of a text is to be presented by the speechwriter to the principal, and 2) how the principal is to proceed with making edits to the speechwriter's draft for later incorporation by the speechwriter.

    In my experience, (on the global level) the method by which this text was drafted by the President's speechwriters and reviewed by the President, is IDENTICAL to the manner by which I used to draft speeches for my principal for his review and editing, with markups. My professional experience for speechwriting for religious leaders on the national level, required my precise adherence to my principal's preferred method to use standardized proofreaders' marks, as per the MLA (Modern Language Association). In each case, adaptation between the principal's preferred method of reviewing and editing draft texts, and his speechwriter's method of drafting the texts on his behalf and incorporating his edits was key. It was not a matter of spacing, per se.

    I see nothing unusual at all in this type of textual exchange between President Obama and his speechwriters; which I base, again, upon my own professional experience as a speechwriter for religious leaders on global and national levels for a total of 9 years, prior to my entering the practice of law as as an attorney.

    These are just some of my own thoughts, based upon your post, for your own reflection and those of your readers.

    On another note, I do enjoy reading your blog; and I am glad to be a subscriber of your blog via RSS feed. Please keep the posts coming!

    Warm regards,
    Paul Zamora