From COMM 455 Student Michael Lotman

This had all started to change by the election of Warren Harding, the first president to employ a full-time ghostwriter. Judson Welliver wrote Harding’s speeches, which H. L. Mencken famously compared to “a string of wet sponges,” undetected. (Elsewhere, Mencken called Welliver “a journalist of the highest skill.”) Yet within a few years, Time magazine could clearly detail Welliver’s duties as a ghostwriter to Harding and, later, to Calvin Coolidge. The Time article focuses mostly on Welliver’s successors, including F. Stuart Crawford, who “went under a cloud when it was found that the Coolidge addresses, when dealing with geography and other indisputable facts, followed with a striking literalness the text of the International Encyclopaedia.”

Citation: Fehrman, Craig. “Ghost Stories: How Ghostwriting Went from Scandal-in-waiting to Acceptable Political Reality.” The American Prospect. April 10, 2010. Retrieved from