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Clinton gets new head scribe

Clinton gets new head scribe

A State Department official confirmed to The Cable that Josh Daniel has begun work as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s new director of speechwriting.

Daniel has been working as a senior advocacy officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, where he was in charge of writing Bill and Melinda’s speeches. He also apparently drove cross country before taking up his new post in Foggy Bottom this week. From 1999 to 2003, he was managing editor at Slate Magazine, where he wrote extensively about the entertainment industry.

He has also worked as managing editor for Microsoft’s sidewalk.com, a website devoted to Houston food and arts culture, and as an editor for the Texas Monthly and the Houston Press.

He replaces Lissa Muscatine, who left State in July after 18 months as chief speechwriter. Muscatine had decades of experience working for Clinton, including as her speechwriter when she was First Lady. Muscatine had been managing four, full-time speechwriters and two part-time employees, who also write for other officials.

Daniel’s shop is located inside the Policy Planning Staff but maintains its own independence within that structure. This is the model that Bill Woodward, speechwriter for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, initiated when he took speechwriting out of the Public Affairs Bureau.

The Washington Post incorrectly reported that Daniel worked for Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Right Daniel, but wrong Gates!