The New York Times columnist and political spitfire, who died Sept. 27 of pancreatic cancer, left behind an indelible legacy in speechwriting and political reporting. We remember Safire with a conversation from the Fresh Air archives.
Matt Latimer, speechwriter to President George W. Bush during his last months in office, says his old boss didn't always stick to the script. His new tell-all memoir recounts more than one startling comment that Latimer says his boss made behind closed doors.
Political commentator David Frum. From January 2001 to February 2002 he was a special assistant to President Bush for economic speech-writing. He held the position during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and he's the man who put the axis in the oft-repeated Bush term "axis of evil." Frum is the author of the new book, The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush, an inside account of the White House.
Former presidential speechwriter Michael Waldman. His new book is called “POTUS Speaks: Finding the Words that Defined the Clinton Presidency.” (Simon and Schuster) From 1993 to 1999, Waldman was a special assistant and then chief speechwriter to Bill Clinton. During that time, he worked closely with the president to write or edit nearly two thousand speeches, including four State of the Union addresses and two inaugural addresses. Previously a public-interest lawyer and writer, Waldman is the author of “Who Robbed America?