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CU System
Two presidential speechwriters laud CUs
FREEPORT, Maine (10/15/09)--The Maine Credit Union League’s Annual Legislative Forum this year marked its 15th annual forum with two former presidential speechwriters who were involved in some of the 20th century’s most historic events.
Click to view larger image Attending the Maine Credit Union League’s 15th Annual Legislative Forum were, from left: John Murphy, league president; Mark Davis, senior director of The White House Writers Group and former speechwriter for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush; Ted Sorensen, special counsel and speechwriter for President John F. Kennedy; and Quincy Hentzel, league director of governmental affairs. Standing in back is Jon Paradise, league governmental and public affairs manager. (Photo provided by the Maine Credit Union League)
Keynote speaker Theodore “Ted” Sorensen, special counsel and speechwriter to President John F. Kennedy (JFK), provided the audience a glimpse into policymaking and communicating at the highest levels of government. In his address, Sorensen reiterated the importance of “being involved in politics and causes and understanding that words do matter. I applaud all of the credit union representatives for being part of a strong movement,” he said. “It was truly a rare opportunity to hear and learn about history from someone who was part of it,” said John Murphy, league president. “Mr. Sorensen has led a fascinating life and his ability to recall days and dates of events in history--from the Cuban missile crisis to civil rights to the tragedies in the Kennedy family--was remarkable and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for attendees. They seemed to hang on Sorensen’s every word as he explained and recalled his part in such historical events as the Cuban Missile Crisis--the closest we have ever come, before or since, to nuclear war in the history of the world.” Sorensen also shed light on some of JFK’s most memorable speeches including the 1961 Inaugural Address, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Civil Rights. “While I have done a great deal of work with world leaders, business and global initiatives since I left The White House in 1964, I have no doubt that the headline of my obituary will read: ‘Ted Sorensen, JFK's speechwriter’,” Sorensen said. “And you know what, I’m comfortable if that is how I am most remembered.” Sorensen was not the only presidential speechwriter at this year’s forum. Mark Davis, who wrote speeches for President Ronald Reagan and served as the chief speechwriter on foreign policy, including several speeches on the collapse of communism and the first Gulf War, for President George H.W. Bush, headlined the afternoon portion of the forum. Davis focused not only on how he approached writing for presidents, but also shared tips and advice for anyone writing and giving a speech. Davis also referenced how proud credit unions should be for being a source of strength during difficult economic times.


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