Historian Jon Meacham wrote Biden ‘soul of America’ speech: report


Historian Jon Meacham has written several recent speeches for president-elect Joe Biden, including his Saturday victory speech after he was projected as the winner of the presidential election.

Although adviser Mike Donilon has primary oversight over speechwriting, Meacham has played a major behind-the-scenes role in developing them, The New York Times reported. Meacham also gave the campaign notes on several major Biden speeches, including one in Gettysburg, Pa., earlier this year and his Democratic National Convention address.

Biden spokesman TJ Ducklo told the Times that Biden consulted a number of people on the speech.

“President-elect Joe Biden wrote the speech he delivered to the American people on Saturday night, which laid out his vision for uniting and healing the nation,” Ducklo told the Times. “Given the significance of the speech, he consulted a number of important, and diverse, voices as part of his writing process, as he often does.”

Meacham has voted for members of both parties for president, but publicly endorsed Biden in a March Washington Post op-ed and spoke at the Democratic convention.

Although there are no plans for Meacham to take a formal role in the administration, a person familiar with the decision said he will leave his full-time role as a contributor for MSNBC and NBC News. The person told the Times he will likely return to the networks as a guest.

Meacham, who recently concluded a 10-part podcast on American political speeches, most recently appeared on MSNBC following the Biden speech last weekend.

Following the speech, MSNBC’s Brian Williams asked him, “I’m not the historian that you are, and I don’t have the Pulitzer that you do, but do you concur that is the way we are used to hearing from our presidents?”

Meacham concurred, saying “absolutely” without mentioning any that he had any role in crafting it, according to the newspaper.

The Hill has reached out to Meacham for comment.

Tags Joe Biden Jon Meacham Speeches Speechwriter

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