College of Charleston Hosts Fall, 2009 Meeting

9 College Way, College of Charleston, home of the Department of Communication

The Department of Communication at the College of Charleston hosted SCoR in its beautiful, historic quarters on the afternoon of September 18. The topic for this meeting was rhetoric and narcissism (see the reading list), and our text, honoring its 30th anniversary, was Jimmy Carter’s “malaise speech.” Brian McGee, our host and chair of the Dept of Communication at CoC, arranged for Pat Caddell, one of the chief writers of that speech, to join us for the seminar. We enjoyed a lively three-hour discussion of the speech and were often captivated by Mr. Caddell’s stories from behind the scenes, after which, we retired to the upper veranda of 9 College Way where our hosts provided such a beautiful spread, including wine and crab cakes, that we are reluctant acknowledge their lavish hospitality publicly out of fear that others will feel the bar has been set so high that no one will step forward to host us again.
The Scene
We met in a beautifully renovated conference room in the Dept of Communication on the historical College of Charleston campus. Pollster and speechwriter Pat Caddell was the center of attention as he told the group behind-the-scenes stories of the circumstances of Jimmy Carter’s “Crisis of Confidence” speech given thirty years ago this year.