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Brookings Institution
'Gloomdogglers' and the midterm blues
'Gloomdogglers' and the midterm blues

As President Barack Obama's speechwriters struggle with how, where and what to say as these dismal mid-second term congressional elections come to a close, I know exactly how they must feel. I was there — only it was 56 years ago, and the president was Dwight Eisenhower. Throughout the Republican ranks that year writers were instructed to attack the Democrats as "the party of gloom and doom." Gloom-and-doom. Gloom-and-doom. It was so damn monotonous. The president's last campaign speech was to be in Baltimore on Friday night before election day. We gathered in the White House East Wing office of chief speechwriter Malcolm Moos to review what we were offering...