This post was originally published on the HS Bits Blog, which was active from 2008-2013.
My political stripes are totally going to show with this one, but it was just too irresistible.
The twist? It's a marked-up version, based on what three editors (executive literary, copy, and research) would do to it if it passed under their pens before hitting the audience.
Once I finished laughing, I would be very tempted to find an unannotated version of the speech and give it to my students to see how they would edit it, and then have them compare their edits with those of the professionals. I would probably also ask them whether they agree or disagree with the magazine editors' comments.
This could be a good entry into a perusal of AmericanRhetoric.com (which I discussed in a previous post) -- have students select some of the speeches there and editorialize them, or select older ones and update them for a 2009 audience.
I really think Vanity Fair should have done the same with an Obama speech; though it would be less entertaining, I suspect it would be instructive in terms of demonstrating that the president cares about being coherent (or, at the very least, his speechwriters do).