Chris Matthews joins former presidential speechwriters, says Obama has lost his touch

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Few White House staffers are as important to the success of a presidency as the chief speechwriter and his or her deputies. Their job is to think like the president and develop an intimate understanding of his values, his policies, his politics, and the way he expresses himself. At a panel of White House speechwriters that I moderated last week at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, some of those aides talked about their craft and gave insights into the presidents for whom they worked. They talked about how presidents cope with crisis and adversity and how they deal with what passes for normalcy in the West Wing.

But what was perhaps most striking was their negative assessment of President Obama and the state of his rhetoric. Former presidential speechwriters, as deft wordsmiths, cherish a special turn of phrase, a flair for the dramatic, and words that shape history or capture an important moment in the life of the nation. But this bipartisan group found Obama lacking as a communicator, especially compared to his performance as a candidate. They said he seems to have lost his gift for reaching the country in an inspirational way. And they agreed that he has become too academic and hasn’t connected sufficiently with everyday people.

Full story: Former Presidential Speechwriters Say Obama Has Lost His Touch – US News and World Report