Sunday, June 20, 2010

Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan graduated from Rutherford High School in Rutherford, New Jersey in 1968. She went on to a career in journalism before becoming a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. Two of her most memorable speeches for Reagan were his 40th anniversary D-Day address ("The Boys of Pointe du Hoc") and his speech regarding the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster. In 1988 Noonan wrote George HW Bush's catch-phrasey Republican convention speech in which he pledged "Read my lips, no new taxes" and spoke of "a thousand points of light." Bush used the sparkly term like a mantra during the September 25, 1988 presidential debate prompting his opponent, Michael Dukakis, to declare in exasperation: "...A thousand points of light - I don't know what that means." It was one of the few times during his tone-deaf campaign that the Democratic nominee connected with a majority of similarly confused Americans.

In 2004 Noonan took a leave of absence from her column at the Wall Street Journal to campaign for the re-election of George W. Bush. Later, however, she would write and speak critically of his administration. In 2008 Noonan was caught on a live microphone trashing Sarah Palin and assessing the McCain campaign as "over." She tried to backpedal on her refreshingly candid thoughts, but was less than convincing.

When not writing columns or books, Noonan practices her genteel, whispery brand of conservative punditry on the Sunday morning news talk shows (she occasionally deigns to appear on cable, too - usually FOX).


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