Monday, January 21, 2008

Obama's Speechwriter

This article on the speechwriter was initially posted on January 6, 2008 in NEWSWEEK or two weeks ago..While the story is impressive in a limited sense the media and many other people are making FAR too much of this. As this article justly points out Obama has always written his own speeches in the past and now of course, like all the candidates, he is far too busy so Favreau (and others) help write his speeches on the stump. What bothers me about the incipiently racist tone of so much "Gee Whiz!"/ "WOW!" commentary about it throughout the media and the Internet is that it gives the egregiously FALSE IMPRESSION that Obama's extraordinary oratorical and speechwriting prowess is DEPENDENT on this guy when nothing could be farther from the truth.

First Obama is not only a Senator, but was EDITOR OF THE HARVARD LAW REVIEW(!) and is the author of TWO bestselling books(!!)...Oh and by the way it was Obama who first put himself on the national political map when he gave his extraordinary speech at the 2004 Democratic Party Convention--WHICH HE WROTE HIMSELF...

So while it's "nice" to know that Favreau is as so many hyperbolic stories in the media and on the net is GASP! "a skinny 26 year old whiteguy" it's more than a little insulting to Obama's and other black people's intelligence that a mere speechwriter would get this kind of publicity in order to prop up the forever false and traditional racist sentiment that no black man could possibly do anything really extraordinary without a (smarter?) whiteman behind him. What a bunch of ignorant crap that is!! So while I appreciate what Favreau is doing (as far as it goes that is) I (and many other blackfolks I'm sure) can only GRIMACE and angrily shake our collective heads about this depressingly typical and blatantly transparent attempt to condescend to Obama. "Man", as we used to say when we were kids back in Detroit "WHITEBOYS ARE REALLY INSECURE, AREN'T THEY"? Just Pathetic--like always... GRRRRRR...


In His Candidate’s Voice
The speech lit a fire. Meet Obama's editor.

By Richard Wolffe | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Jan 6, 2008 | Updated: 7:22 p.m. ET Jan 6, 2008

Jon Favreau has the worst and the best job in political speechwriting. His boss is a best-selling author who doesn't really need his help, having written the 2004 speech that catapulted him onto the national stage. At the same time, the same boss also happens to be capable of delivering a speech in ways that can give his audience the goosebumps.

But Barack Obama is more than a little busy campaigning across Iowa and New Hampshire right now. So it was Favreau who led the team that wrote Obama's victory speech in Des Moines last week—a moment that prompted the TV pundits to drop months of skepticism about Obama's candidacy to make breathless comparisons with the Kennedy era.

For Favreau, a 26-year-old jean-clad staffer (who is no relation to the comedian of "Swingers" fame) who worked in Obama's senate office, the contrast with the 2004 election could not be starker.

Back then Jon Favreau had one of the worst jobs on the Kerry campaign. He was the kid who put together "the audio clips"—the bundle of overnight stories that helped the campaign's senior staff get up to speed on the latest radio news. A graduate of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., he had interned in Kerry's senate office and joined the campaign right out of college.

When Kerry's campaign showed signs of imploding—before recovering again in Iowa—Favreau was one of the few people left in the office when they needed a new speechwriter. "They couldn't afford to hire one," he recalled. "And they couldn't find anyone who wanted to come in when we were about to lose to Dean. So I became deputy speechwriter, even though I had no previous experience."

When Kerry lost in 2004, Favreau thought he was finished with politics. "After the Kerry campaign, after all the backbiting and nastiness, my idealism and enthusiasm for politics was crushed," he said. "I was grateful for the experience I got, but it was such a difficult
experience, along with losing, that I was done. It took Barack to rekindle that."