From Comm 455 Student Michael Lotman

Most of Welliver’s finest work as a speechwriter was done in the service of canidate and then President Warren Gamaliel Harding.  And so, while Welliver is properly revered by all speechwriters, he is especially sacred to those scribes who have written for that select group of presidents who—whether deservedly or not—are seldom if ever quoted by their successors.  Judson Welliver is indeed the patron saint of the unquotables.  It is now more than sixty years since the Harding administration was so tragically cut short.  Despite the inkind things said about the prose of that administration by H.L. Menken and others, the work of Harding and Welliver is coming to be recognized and appreciated by specialists.  For example, as noted in the authoritative reference Safire’s Political Dictionary, Harding and this Welliver coined the term “Founding Fathers.”  Yet even the passage of six decades has not made it any easier for a tired speechwriter, groping for a peroration at three o’clock in the morning, to end a draft by inserting some appropriate quote introduced by the phrase, “In the immortal words of Warren G. Harding…”

Citation: Hertzberg, Hendrik. Politics: Observations and Arguments, 1966-2004. New York: Penguin, 2004. 114-20.

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