What’s with the age disparity among speechwriters?

Money, mortgages and kids account for the age difference between political speechwriters and executive communicators.

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“Yes, political speechwriters generally are young,” said President Carter’s former speechwriter James Fallows, in a recent interview with Ragan.com.

Despite the lack of hard data, several current and former political speechwriters echoed this sentiment, while corporate speechwriters made a similar observation: Generation Y isn’t writing speeches for the C-suite.

So are the maturing corporate speechwriters void of the idealism necessary for composing stirring political rhetoric?

Hardly, speechwriters insisted. The age disparity is less about ideals and more about job security, as well as hours, money and climbing the corporate ladder.

The hours are unbelievable

Former political speechwriters insisted long hours often deter older, more experienced speechwriters from working for campaigning or elected officials.

“Political speechwriters are generally younger because the hours are unbelievable,” Fallows, an editor at The Atlantic magazine, told Ragan.com over e-mail. “They are simply better adapted to the circumstances of a campaign (bad food, no sleep, no pay, etc.).”

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