Jon Favreau: Obama’s Speech Writer

jon favreau obama speechwiter

Jon Favreau looks every bit his age, with a baby face and closely shorn stubble.

During the presidential campaign, the 27-year-old helped write and edit some of the most unforgettable speeches of Barack Obama.

When Obama moves to the White House next month, Favreau will join his staff as the youngest person ever to be selected as chief speechwriter.

Favreau joined Senator John Kerry‘s 2004 presidential campaign after graduating from Holy Cross in 2003 as the valedictorian. Obama communications aide Robert Gibbs, who had worked for Kerry’s campaign, recommended his former colleague Favreau to Obama as an excellent writer.

“He looks like he’s in college and everybody calls him Favs, so you’re like, ‘This guy can’t be for real, right?’ ” Ben Rhodes, another Obama speechwriter told The Washington Post. “But it doesn’t take long to realize that he’s totally synced up with Obama. . . . He has access to everything and everybody. There’s a lot weighing on his shoulders.”

jon favreau obama speechwiter

In four years together, Obama and Favreau have perfected their writing procedure. Before most speeches, Obama meets with Favreau for an hour to clarify what he wants to say. Favreau types notes on his laptop and takes a crack at the first draft. Obama edits and rewrites portions himself — he is the better writer, Favreau insists — and they usually work through final revisions together. If Favreau looks stressed, Obama sometimes reassures him: “Don’t worry. I’m a writer, too, and I know that sometimes the muse hits you and sometimes it doesn’t. We’ll figure it out together.”

Photos: The New York Times