Mourning In America

A New York Democrat on politics, journalism, and the Mets

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Monday, August 16, 2004
Clearing the Decks for Jeb? Supporters of New York "Gov." George Pataki's apparent 2008 presidential ambitions have long pointed to his speech at the upcoming Republican National Convention as his national coming-out party. But is the Bush campaign trying to stifle his ascent before it begins? How else to explain this report from Time?
Part poet, part pol, Peggy Noonan was the Republican Party's go-to speechwriter for nearly a decade ... Noonan won't be penning this Bush's speech, G.O.P. sources tell TIME; instead, she will lend her hand to the addresses of New York Governor George Pataki and Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

If Noonan was still the writer who penned Ronald Reagan's widely admired Boys of Pointe du Hoc D-Day address, maybe I'd draw the opposite conclusion, but as the writer who used the Wall Street Journal editorial page to fantasize an Oval Office ceremony in which special forces turned over Osama's "do rag" to the President, she's become a caricature of herself.

Still, Time manages to find the argument that explains why the Bushies might think she's perfect for our "Governor:"

A master at turning ideology—or the lack of it—into something inspiring, Noonan has plenty to do.

Read: Expect a lot of paeans to the "spirit" of New Yorkers in the post-9/11 period. Who knows? If she really does well, she might even be able to inspire the perennially slouching Pataki to stand up straight.