Monday, January 07, 2008

The Kids

Jon Favreau (not the actor) is Barack Obama's speechwriting partner. He's a veteran of the Kerry campaign, who was drafted into speechwriting before the Iowa caucus, when Kerry was running out of money, and everyone thought they would lose to Howard Dean.

He's 26 years old.

Favreau and Obama rapidly found a relatively direct way to work with one another. "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.

"It's a great way to write speeches. A lot of times, you write something, you hand it in, it gets hacked by advisors, it gets to the candidate and then it gets sent back to you. This is a much more intimate way to work."

Some speeches are much more the product of the candidate himself. Obama emailed Favreau his draft of his announcement speech in Springfield, Illinois, at 4 a.m. on the morning of the campaign launch last February.

Now Favreau has his own team: Adam Frankel, a 26-year-old who worked with Ted Sorensen on his memoirs, and Ben Rhodes, a 30-year-old who worked with Lee Hamilton on the 9/11 commission's report.

Three guys on a speechwriting team, two of whom were born after 1980; the oldest was born in 1977. Is there any surprise that Obama is resonating with young people? Or that he talks so often about his disinterest in the political discourse of the past?

Forget the Sixties, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, even Clinton. The first time his speechwriters could vote for president, it was for Al Gore.

(Unless they voted Nader. Eep!)

Anyways, that group of guys might even be as smart and precocious as this one:


Brandon said...

Those guys are drinking caffeine -- clearly not speech writers for Romney.

Gavin said...

Such a great picture. I wish I could have been there.

DDanielle said...

It will be interesting to see what other different choices he makes if he were elected. I haven't made up my mind who I would vote for, but I wouldn't be able to vote for him anyway since I live in the redheaded stepchild state of Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Is this the guy with the new nano attached to his hip? I wonder what he is listening to.

Dan said...

Huh. I missed this post entirely the first time. What a pleasant memory.