GW's Steve Hess On Obama's Inaugural Address

Longtime presidential scholar Stephen Hess has a tip for Barack Obama's speechwriters.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Longtime presidential scholar Stephen Hess has a tip for Barack Obama's inaugural address speechwriters: Make it short and catchy. "I'd say write your bumper sticker," he said, hopeful of a JFK-style "Ask not" phrase from Obama. His other tip: Go short. People remember the short ones and it forces writers to be economical and meaningful in fewer words. Hess is now at the George Washington University, and cut his teeth in scholarship at the Brookings Institution after serving a handful of presidents, including as a speechwriter for Ike. His latest book for Brookings is What Do We Do Now, A Workbook for the President-Elect. Hess addresses the big speech on Whispers video: