Tuesday, January 08, 2008

In His Candidate's Voice

A nice article about Obama's speechwriter:

"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.

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


In His Candidate’s Voice

The speech lit a fire. Meet Obama's editor.

By Richard Wolffe
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Updated: 7:22 PM 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.


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