The Advocates 4-14-10

Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at 12:00 Noon, I am hosting my show, The Advocates on WVOX- 1460 AM, or you can listen to the program’s live streaming at One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio.  My guest is Jeff Shesol, author of Supreme Power, and our subject is FDR, the Supreme Court and the battle over its re-organization in the 1930’s.

Jeff Shesol is a founding partner of West Wing Writers, a speechwriting and communications strategy firm, and is author of the forthcoming book, Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. The Supreme Court (March 2010). He is an accidental speechwriter. In 1997, President Clinton read “Mutual Contempt,” Jeff’s book on the Lyndon Johnson-Robert Kennedy feud, and invited Jeff to become a White House speechwriter. Jeff, at that point, had written exactly one political speech in his life: nearly a decade earlier, as a Capitol Hill intern, he had drafted a tribute to America’s nurses.

During his three years at the White House, Jeff became the Deputy Chief of Presidential Speechwriting, a member of the senior staff, and took the lead in drafting the State of the Union Address, the President’s 2000 convention speech, and the Farewell Address. He covered a range of issues — from global trade and economic development to information technology, the federal budget, and the arts. He also helped lead the President's team of humor writers — a team that produced the Clinton comedy video, “The Final Days.”

Before he became a speechwriter, Jeff wrote and drew a syndicated comic strip, “Thatch,” which appeared daily in more than 150 newspapers. His book, “Mutual Contempt,” was a New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post Critic’s Choice. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., called it “the most gripping political book of recent years.” Jeff continues to publish widely under his own byline, and appears frequently on television and radio.

A Rhodes Scholar, Jeff got his masters in history from Oxford University in 1993 and graduated from Brown University in 1991. He was the 2002 Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies at Princeton University, where he taught a course on the history of the presidential speech. Jeff lives in Washington with his wife Rebecca, and their two children.
 Meanwhile, the mission of The Advocates is to bring to the public differing views on current “public policy” issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow.
One can find my essays on FDR and other subjects at All of the archived shows can be found at:  Next week on WVOX guest will be hosting representatives from the Frances Perkins Center, and we will be discussing their activities and the 75th anniversary of Social Security.

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