How Richard Nixon wished he could make speeches like Churchill

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Richard Nixon never considered himself a great orator, a judgment shared by those who heard him speak.

But it has emerged that the US President was secretly envious of Winston Churchill's way with words and instructed his speechwriters to learn from the former British Prime Minister.

Preparing for an address to the Canadian Parliament in early 1972 the president worried that his rhetoric was so tedious it would cost him politically.

'The speeches I make are to the great credit of the speech writing team generally highly literate, highly responsible and almost invariably dull,' he wrote in a memo to his top aides.

'Now I don't mean to suggest that I should write or sound like Churchill,' Nixon said.

'He is one of those rare birds where God broke the mold when he died. On the other hand, we can at least learn from him.'

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nerriwy wang - 1/14/2010

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