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KNOXVILLE—John McConnell, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will speak at the University of Tennessee on January 31.

John McConnellThe main event is at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Carolyn P. Brown Memorial University Center. It is free and open to the public.

McConnell also will speak at 3:45 p.m. on January 31 in the Toyota Auditorium of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. Though this afternoon talk is aimed at students, it is also free and open to the public.

His visit is sponsored by the Issues Committee, the Baker Center, and the Chancellor’s Honors program.

McConnell, 46, is a political, business, entertainment, and government consultant in Washington, DC.

He was the senior speechwriter for both Bush and Dick Cheney during part of their national presidential campaign and during their eight-year administration. As part of the three-person speechwriting team, McConnell worked many important public presentations, including Bush’s State of the Union addresses, his eulogy for President Ronald Reagan, and his remarks about the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia.

McConnell was in Cheney’s office on September 11, 2001, when Secret Service agents hurried them off into a bomb shelter following the attack on the Pentagon. He subsequently helped write Bush’s address to the joint session of Congress following the terrorist attacks.

During his appearances at UT, McConnell is expected to share some of his experiences and answer questions from the audience.

“To young people who want to get into politics, I tell them to definitely do it—to follow their heart, to get involved in something that matters to them,” McConnell said in an interview with Network Global Broadcasting. “It’s not where the big money is, but it is definitely an area where you can feel like you’re making a difference. You can everyday go to work and feel like you’re doing something worthwhile.”

C O N T A C T :

Nissa Dahlin-Brown (865-974-8681,