Today's Top Five
1. Out of the top 25
After seven years of service, Michael Gerson is resigning as President Bush's speechwriter. Gerson, who was named one of Time's 25 most influential evangelicals, wrote some of the president's most remembered phrases, such as "armies of compassion" and "axis of evil."
The Washington Post reports that Gerson
was a formulator of the Bush doctrine making the spread of democracy the fundamental goal of U.S. foreign policy, a policy hailed as revolutionary by some and criticized as unrealistic by others. He led a personal crusade to make unprecedented multibillion-dollar investments in fighting AIDS, malaria and poverty around the globe. He became one of the few voices pressing for a more aggressive policy to stop genocide in Darfur, even as critics complained of U.S. inaction.
Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten said Gerson is "one of the few people who is irreplaceable. He's a policy provoker, a grand strategist and a conscience who in many cases has not only articulated but reflected the president's heart." The Post writes,
Gerson wrote or co-wrote every major speech Bush gave since announcing his candidacy, including convention and inaugural addresses and State of the Union messages. He crafted the two speeches after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that will probably be recorded as Bush's signal moments of national leadership: the service at the Washington National Cathedral and the address to Congress.
He crafted the State of the Union language that labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea an "axis of evil" and the inaugural address that committed the United States to "ending tyranny in our world." He came up with the phrase "soft bigotry of low expectations" to focus on minority education problems.
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