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00 S. Colbert

“I do not seek applause, nor to amuse the people, I want to convince them.” —Abraham Lincoln

David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften AUTHOR'S VOICE® The Ultimate Guide to the Gettysburg Address

Stephen Colbert Nails It!

In the course of relentless questioning from Stephen Colbert, Presidential speech writer Jon Favreau lamely let the secret out --- almost as an after thought. Of course our book Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, and the Structure of Reason already let the secret out as a forethought. But the intense pressure of Colbert's relentless attack clarifies the facts in a way that cannot be paralleled.


Thursday, February 28, 2013


Colbert: I don’t, I don’t always agree with the guy, you know.

Favreau: I’ve heard.

Colbert:  Says, but, I um, but I like, the speeches are often very long, and more words is always better.

Favreau: Always.

Colbert: And, but they’re not like little phrases, they’re not, there’s not like catch phrases you associate, like, you know, “Ask not what your country”, or “Nothing to fear but fear itself”, or “Where’s the beef”, you know, where is, where’s his “Where’s the beef”? Does, is there a thing that you pluck out that would be the phrase that he has said in his speeches?

Favreau: You know, since I started working with him, yeah, in his 2004 convention speech, which, which was the speech that kind of launched the national  career.

Stephen Colbert Nails It!

Colbert: Yeah, I remember it.

Favreau: Why I liked it so much, and the President and I talked about this, is because it told a story from beginning to end, and told a story about his life, and how it fit into the larger American story, and how there are values that we all share. And, so when we sit down with a speech, we don’t, we think less about the individual lines, or what’s going to be quoted, or what the sound byte is, and what we make sure most of all is that we’re telling a story from beginning to end,

and that there’s like a logical argument in the speech. [Stephen Colbert strikes gold!]

And that’s just kind of how he speaks and how he thinks, so we try to reflect that.