Matt Latimer

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Matthew N. Latimer is an American lawyer who has served in a variety of appointments during George W. Bush's presidency.

Education[edit]

Latimer earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, his M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.[1]

Early positions in Washington[edit]

Latimer served as a Special Assistant to Senator Spencer Abraham, (R-MI), then became Press Secretary to U.S. Rep Nick Smith (R-MI) before moving on to become a spokesman for Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) from 2001-2004. He then became a speechwriter for Donald Rumsfeld at the Department of Defense.[1][2][3] Latimer wrote about his time with Representative Smith and Senator Abraham, saying:

My youthful exuberance cooled as I moved up the rungs of power. On Capitol Hill, I worked for a congressman who “misremembered” basic facts (Smith), such as the “Eisenhower assassination.” I worked for a senator who hid from his own staff (Abraham).[3]

In 2006, Latimer was identified by the Washington Post as "director of the Pentagon writers group" and as the principal author of a 2006 Department of Defense document entitled "Ten facts about Guantanamo".[4][5]

Special Assistant to President Bush[edit]

On March 20, 2007 President Bush announced the appointment of Latimer as Special Assistant to the President for Speechwriting.[1]

In 2007 I finally made it to the Bush White House as a presidential speechwriter. But it was not at all what I envisioned. It was less like Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing and more like The Office.[3]

In September, 2009, GQ magazine's October edition published lengthy excerpts from Latimer's book about his time as Bush's speechwriter, Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor. Titled Me Talk Presidential One Day, the article recounts Latimer's befuddlement at what he saw as incompetent and uninformed decision-making during the economic crisis of 2008 on the part of Bush and Bush's staff, particularly Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson.[3] The book cites Latimer's interpretations of Bush's remarks and comments made to his staff about political figures such as Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.[3]

In a September 22, 2009 Wall Street Journal op-ed titled "When Speechwriters Kiss and Tell," Latimer's former White House boss, William McGurn, questions Latimer's motives and challenges many of the claims made in the book.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Personnel Announcement". The White House. March 20, 2007. Retrieved July 25, 2007. 
  2. ^ Pre-publication tizzy over book grips D.C., August 9, 2009, Arizona Republic.
  3. ^ a b c d e Me Talk Presidential One Day, September 2009, GQ magazine.
  4. ^ Al Kamen (September 15, 2006). "10 Things to Know About Guantanamo". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  5. ^ "Ten Facts about Guantanamo". Department of Defense. September 14, 2006. Retrieved July 25, 2007.