Study Guide

Malcolm Moos in Eisenhower's Farewell Address

By Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Malcolm Moos

Malcolm Moos, the speechwriter who helped draft Eisenhower's farewell address, was a political science journalist and professor who called himself a "left-wing Republican" (source). When Ike tapped him for the White House staff in 1957, he was a professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, as well as an editor at the Baltimore Sun. When he left Hopkins to answer the president's call, his boss—Ike's brother Milton, president of the university—wasn't happy to lose such a stellar faulty member.

Moos became Ike's chief speechwriter in 1958. He'd been part of the campaign in 1951 to draft Eisenhower as a presidential candidate and had helped to prepare position papers for his campaign. Eisenhower was familiar with his politics and his writings, and felt they'd be a good match for him.

As early as 1959, Ike started gathering advice and ideas for what he planned to be a ten-minute farewell address, which everyone agreed was a great idea. Over many months, the speech went through 29 drafts, which even by Presidential address standards is a pretty high number. (By college app essay standards, 29 drafts is a good start). The theme had been the same from the first draft: the dangers of "the conjunction of a large and permanent military establishment and a large and permanent arms industry" (source).

After Ike left office, Moos went on to write speeches for such figures as Nelson Rockefeller, and eventually became President of the University of Minnesota—the first Vulcan-American to hold that position. As president, he helped start progressive programs in African American Studies, American Indian Studies, Chicano Studies, and Women's Studies. He led the university through the tumultuous years of anti-war and civil rights protests, and by all accounts was an open, engaged, reasonable leader who "tried to keep the University from flying apart as it was subjected to one of the most intense pressures in its history" (source).

Exhausted by dealing with all the campus radicals, he retired before he could add Vulcan Studies  to the curriculum.

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