At 27, Favreau's Writing Speech of a Generation

Obama's top writer puts away videogames for Inaugural address
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Dec 18, 2008 9:04 AM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., speaks about race during a news conference in Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Writing the inaugural address of an epochal president known for his oratory would be a daunting job for anyone, but 27-year-old Jon Favreau had to ditch his roomies and videogames in Chicago to do it for Barack Obama, reports the Washington Post. “If you start thinking about what's at stake, it can get paralyzing,” says the youngest guy ever to land the top speechwriting gig at the White House, imagining 3 million people gathered on the Washington Mall to listen to his words.

Favreau started writing John Kerry’s speeches on a fluke, and, recommended to Obama, clicked with the new senator. After his famous race speech in Philadelphia, Obama told Favreau, “So, I think that worked”—a fair, if terse, summary of the pair's close working relationship. Working into the wee hours on speeches from Iowa to Grant Park, Favreau concedes, "it was an unbelievable way to grow up."