became a Beltway media star. As formernLBJ speechwriter Ben Wattenbergnhas written by way of lampoonirignher, “Extra: Extra: President to readnGlotz’s speech tonight.” Now we learnnthat the speech was not always byn”Glotz.” (“Glotz” was the first presidentialnspeechwriter to star in annEsquire celebrity profile, legs over ancouch arm, thus providing what wasnapparently the last straw for then Chiefnof Staff Don Regan.)n”There was terrible bad blood in thenspeechwriters’ shop at the WhitenHouse.” Thus, in a note to me, wrotenan official by far superior in rank tonNoonan at the time. Not surprisingly,na publicity monger like Noonan hadnplenty of non-admirers in the WestnWing, and in this book she returnsntheir loathing with interest. By contrast,nmy own experience as a speechwriternwas one of immense camarade­nrie: we wrote speeches for Reagan ornNixon and went out for beers. ButnPeggy Noonan was not a player onnthose teams.nWhen an editorial in National Reviewnsternly criticized her for violatingnthe anonymity code of the professionalnspeechwriter, a former member of thenprofession (and one who was, by thenway, much more significant in it thannNoonan) wrote to me personally asnfollows:nRumor has it that you authorednthe National Review piece renPeggy Noonan’s book. If so,nyou should know that morenthan a few people believe younare right on target.nMore than one reporter hasnremarked to me that nothingnlike this phenomenon ofnself-promotion has been seennDaydreamingnby Frederick FeirsteinnYou contemplate a European lakenWhere picnickers enact a comedynOf Aryan romance: an ingenuenEludes a subtle pass a soldier makes;nA chunky salesman, drunk and oniony.nGooses a widow as she’s dishing stew.nYou’re spooning chocolate mousse or German cake,nEnjoying temporary sanity.nYou see the agony awaiting you.nThe nightmare when the 20th Century wakesnAmidst the litter of this bourgeoisie.nYou see this as an analyst and Jew.nIt doesn’t matter what discoveries you makenAbout the psyche and its history.nTime and the world will have its way with you.n/nYet, for a moment, the future is opaque.nYou’re laughing with your living family.nThe day is sunny and the lake is blue.nnnbefore — even acknowledgingnthat speechwriters are a morenprominent lot than they usednto be.nYou — and they — are right.nIn any event, you’ve said thenempress has no clothes. Don’tnexpect any parades in yournhonor.nAfter the editorial appeared, PeggynNoonan’s Beltway claque went bananas.nWhether Noonan has clothes ornnot, she obviously remains an empressnfor at least some Washington conservatives.nIt remains only to add that thennarcissistic photograph of Noonannprinted on the dust jacket of this bookninescapably reminds this reader of JacknNicholson at his typewriter in ThenShining.nnJUNE 1990/33n