Most of us read political columnists for insights and inside information not for literary quality. Hendrick Hertzberg’s columns and blog posts at The New Yorker are one of the few venues where we can find all three. A seasoned journalist and master wordsmith, Hertzberg is always worth reading.
Never more so than on the topic he recently addressed, the 30th anniversary of President Jimmy Carter’s famous and infamous “malaise” speech, which has the distinction of being known to history by a word that never once passed Carter’s lips that evening. Hertzberg’s take is especially interesting because he was Carter’s chief speechwriter at the time.