It was a winter's day in 1989. The new president, George H.W. Bush, would give his first speech to Congress. After that, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas would deliver the Democratic response -- and I, his new speechwriter, had written it.
The speech's tone was civil. Bentsen wanted to disagree with Bush about a number of things, but say nice things about him. The senator's main worry seemed to be whether he should end with what was in the draft: a tribute to his father, who had just died.
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