Tuesday, February 05, 2008

About Obama's Speech Writer

And if you want to know a bit about Jon Favreau, age 26, and how he worked on that speech, drinking Coke at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire, click to read a New York Times Style section piece from January 20th called, What Would Obama Say?

Apparently, being Obama's speech writer is not a great pick line 'cause girls don't believe him.
The campaign staff has started teasing Mr. Favreau about his newfound celebrity. Not that it’s any great pickup line. Mr. Favreau, who said he doesn’t have a girlfriend, observed somewhat dryly that “the rigors of this campaign have prevented any sort of serious relationship.”

“There’s been a few times when people have said, ‘I don’t believe you, that you’re Barack Obama’s speechwriter,’ ” he went on. “To which I reply, ‘If I really wanted to hit on you, don’t you think I’d make up something more outlandish?’ ”

And back on January 6th, Newsweek's Richard Wolfe recounted how Favreau got the job.
Favreau met with Obama and Gibbs in the Senate cafeteria in the Dirksen office building on Capitol Hill on the senator's first day in his new job. Obama didn't want to know about Favreau's résumé, but he did want to know about his motivation.

"What got you into politics, what got you interested?" he asked.

Favreau told him about the social service project he started in Worcester, defending the legal rights of welfare recipients as the state tried to move people off the rolls and into work.

"What is your theory of speechwriting?" Obama asked.

"I have no theory," admitted Favreau. "But when I saw you at the convention, you basically told a story about your life from beginning to end, and it was a story that fit with the larger American narrative. People applauded not because you wrote an applause line but because you touched something in the party and the country that people had not touched before. Democrats haven't had that in a long time."

The pitch worked. Favreau and Obama rapidly found a relatively direct way to work with each other. "What I do is to sit with him for half an hour," Favreau explains. "He talks and I type everything he says. I reshape it, I write. He writes, he reshapes it. That's how we get a finished product.

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