Six Years Ago: Happy

Just stumbled across these notes I made back in June 2003 and they made me smile. It’s not often you get such concrete proof of moments of sheer happiness; I’m glad I stopped to write about these.

5 June 2003
I need to write this down before the world intrudes and I forget how unremittingly happy I have been in the last few days.

All my life, since I began my life as a speechwriter, I have wanted to write political speeches. One week ago, I started my first – no, a week ago yesterday, Wednesday. By Friday, I’d sent in the commencement speech; by Saturday, the long (40-minute), substantive speech in which the candidate was announcing a new policy initiative. Saturday, pretty much all day, I was a wreck – convinced that the speech was too long, too wonky because of all the details they wanted included. I was convinced that the speech (to use a technical term) sucked.

Sunday morning, 11:44 a.m. – an email from the policy director to what seemed like everyone in the campaign, from campaign manager on down: “Attached is a wonderful draft by Elaine Bennett…” Monday an email to me from the same guy: “Elaine, you really are a wonderful writer. I’m thrilled to read your work.” Tuesday, my boss was driving around with the candidate and he says, with what sounds like awe when he recounts it, “Hey, you’ve really got a wonderful speechwriter there.” Yesterday, Wednesday, the candidate says to me, “Thank you – it was a wonderful speech” or – I don’t actually know what he said (I was too amazed that he was saying it to listen), but he was smiling when he said it.