At Crosscut, public radio’s Austin Jenkins has a good story about the fact that Gov. Gregoire has gone through three speechwriters so far.
Part of the problem is it’s hard for a younger, even very smart speechwriter to write for a governor who’s a lawyer and policy wonk with decades of experience in state government. Put another way: “I think it’s hard to write for people who are perfectionists and attorneys,” says (speechwriter No. 2 Peter) Jackson.
But another factor is also at play: workload. Fitzsimmons calculated that Gregoire had 58 speaking engagements from mid-May to Mid-June.
“It is an impossible job” in any administration, says Denny Heck, who served as chief of staff to former Gov. Booth Gardner. In an e-mail, Heck writes: “People carry around in their heads this myth about every speechwriter being a Peggy Noonan in the making. What they don’t realize is that Peggy Noonan had about three months to prepare for every major speech. The governor’s speechwriter is given two to eight speeches per day to prepare remarks for.”