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Thank goodness for my National Press Club membership, since I couldn’t make it to Q & A Cafe to hear Ted Sorensen speak about his new book, Counselor. As it turned out, I was able to speak more to him than I expected – we arrived at the same time and rode the elevator to the Club level together.
Counselor, Sorensen’s sixth book, is a personal account of his 11 years serving as John F. Kennedy’s aide and speachwriter. He is passionate about Kennedy’s ideals for public service and duty toward civil rights and other advancements for the country. He was equally passionate in his dislike for the current administration.
I had not known…that Sorensen is responsible for most of Kennedy’s famous speeches, including “ask not what your country can do for you;” that Sorensen added the faulty “ein” in Kennedy’s speech in Berlin that famously made him call himself a “jelly dougnut;” that it was Sorensen that began comparisions between Kennedy and Obama.
I count myself lucky to have had the opportunity to hear him speak. It’s also pretty cool to be able to say that Kennedy’s speechwriter told me that I have a beautiful smile!
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So actually Ted didn’t write the “ask not what your country…” line. I just talked to him about it at lunch today, and he said JFK got that idea from another speech he heard.
Ted, however, did ghostwrite Profiles of Courage and many of JFK’s other famous speeches, although he’s usually pretty modest about it.
p.s. Haha, I know that was probably an annoying comment, but since a lot of people view this blog, I just want to make sure the correct information is out there.