On February first, I listened to a recording of President Trump’s remarks about Black History Month. It was obvious that he hadn’t put any effort into preparing a statement. The speech, such as it was, was clearly made up on the spot, and it wasn’t very good. Within hours, dozens of news stories ridiculing the remarks appeared on the Internet.
The next day, I read to President Trump’s remarks at the White House Prayer Breakfast. As remarks go, they were better (because some of them were prepared ahead of time, by someone who gave the matter some thought, and read from a teleprompter) but they were still weak and unremarkable. If he hadn’t wandered off the script and said some silly things about Governor Schwarzenegger, I doubt they would have been published at all. This seems to be the pattern, dating back to the start of his campaign: do as little preparation as possible before a speech, and, when giving the speech, feel free to abandon the speech at any moment if a different idea pops up or the audience loses focus. The result is that while people still find inspiration in orations by Churchill, JFK, MLK Jr, and Reagan (to name just a few), future generations will not remember the oratory of President Trump for anything other than their non-linearity and fractured structure.
After I finished reading, I began to wonder what it would be like if Trump started to hire real speech writers, and then actually read their speeches without wandering off on digressions. What would those speeches be like? Could they be inspiring? At the very least, could they be memorable?