Wednesday, May 9, 2018

I (heart) Peggy Noonan

Back in 2009 I wrote two posts called "I (heart) Peggy Noonan" and "I (heart) Peggy Noonan, part deux". Today I'm writing about Peggy Noonan again, so this post should probably have been called "I (heart) Peggy Noonan, part trois". I don't care. What I have written, I have written. A year's free subscription to my blog (folks, it's free already) if, without looking it up, you can identify the person who most famously uttered the previous sentence, and why. (Hint: It wasn't necessarily in English.)

[Editor's note. Since I didn't want to send you off on wild goose chases, please notice that I did not include links to those two 2009 posts about Peggy Noonan because the links in those posts to columns written by the aforementioned Peggy Noonan for the Wall Street Journal no longer connect to those columns. They are now forever lost in the annals of time or at least in the archives of the Wall Street Journal. --RWP]

To be clear, I don't (heart) the actual living, breathing Peggy Noonan who looked like this in a 2016 photograph by American photographer Gage Strickland:


No, friends, I (heart) Peggy Noonan's way with words. She is a wordsmith of the first order.

Wikipedia says of her, "In 1984, Noonan, as a speechwriter for President Reagan, authored his "Boys of Pointe du Hoc" speech on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. She also wrote Reagan's address to the nation after the Challenger explosion, drawing upon the poet John Magee's words about aviators who "slipped the surly bonds of earth... and touched the face of God." The latter is ranked as the eighth best American political speech of the 20th century, according to a list compiled by professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A&M University. The "Pointe du Hoc" speech ranks as the 58th best speech of the century....Later, while working for then Vice President George H. W. Bush, Noonan coined the phrase "a kinder, gentler nation" and also popularized "a thousand points of light," two memorable catchphrases used by Bush. Noonan also wrote the speech in which Bush pledged: "Read my lips: no new taxes" during his 1988 presidential nomination acceptance speech in New Orleans (Bush's subsequent reversal of this pledge is often cited as a reason for his defeat in his 1992 re-election campaign)."

At long last, we finally come to the reason for this particular post, Peggy Noonan's column of April 26, 2018, entitled "What Does This Moment Demand of Us?"

Happy reading. I hope you will (heart) Peggy Noonan too.

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