Totally synced up with Obama... a 27-year-old guy... and he's the one writing those golden words.
Three months ago, Favreau lived in a group house with six friends in Chicago, where he rarely shaved, never cooked and sometimes stayed up to play video games until early morning....Just like an "American Idol" finale song!
Last month, Favreau met for an hour in Chicago with Obama... and they agreed to theme [the inaugural address] around, Favreau said, "this moment that we're in..."
"... and the idea that America was founded on certain ideals that we need to take back."Claim the Framers for your side. Good move! Make liberalism traditional.
Obama asked for a first draft by Thanksgiving. Favreau explained that he had planned a vacation and promised a draft by this week.What a cocky guy! Imagine telling Obama -- who's entrusted you with the inauguration speech -- that you've got a vacation planned. Man, I would have just made a mental note to cancel my vacation, wouldn't you?
During his vacation, Favreau e-mailed notes to himself via BlackBerry while visiting friends in Manhattan and talked about structure at his family's Thanksgiving dinner.Talked about structure at his family's Thanksgiving dinner... uh, okay. I guess that means the structure of the inaugural address. Not just structure, generally. Which is what we talk about chez Althouse. The structure of the universe, the structure of scientific revolutions, the structure of white and dark meat on the avian skeleton, etc.
Favreau... listens to Obama tell stories in his office and spins them into developed metaphors, rich in historical context. When Obama delivers a speech on the road, Favreau studies the recording and notes the points at which Obama departs from the text so he can refine the riffs and incorporate them next time.So he started this mind-merge when he was 23?
In four years together, Obama and Favreau have perfected their writing process....
[I]n 2004, ... Obama, just elected to the Senate, needed to hire a speechwriter. He brought Favreau, then 23, into the Senate dining room for an interview on his first day in office. They talked for 30 minutes about harmless topics such as family and baseball before Obama turned serious.Theory! I love that. Now, what would you have said at that point? Theory? Speechwriting has a theory? Uh...
"So," he said. "What's your theory on speechwriting?"
"A speech can broaden the circle of people who care about this stuff," Favreau said. "How do you say to the average person that's been hurting: 'I hear you. I'm there. Even though you've been so disappointed and cynical about politics in the past, and with good reason, we can move in the right direction. Just give me a chance.' "So, presumably, that was just about the best answer to an interview question anyone ever gave. Or do you think Favreau also has some magical charisma that Obama saw and saw himself in?
"I think this is going to work," Obama said.
Two weeks after the election, Favreau accepted a new job that essentially came with a new life. He moved back to Washington, hired a real estate agent, bought his first apartment and ordered furniture from Pottery Barn that sits unopened in nine boxes lined against his wall. He will need to buy more jackets and ties to replace his preferred outfit of jeans and a sweater. Friends joke that Favreau suddenly turned 40 this year -- but he still shows flashes of 27.He cupped his hand over her "breast."
At a party at his parents' house over Thanksgiving vacation, he danced and posed awkwardly next to a cardboard cutout of Clinton.
A buddy uploaded photos onto Facebook, reporters discovered them, and suddenly experts were debating Favreau's maturity on television. Favreau called Clinton and Obama to apologize. They told him not to worry, but he still does.Don't worry, Jon, everyone is just hopelessly -- profoundly -- jealous. It's got to drive everyone crazy that you are 27.
IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian says:
Jealousy and disgust are not the same thing.And yet, what is undeniable is that this writing worked in the real world on millions of people. There is a mystery to writing, and some people have a gift, and they can give the impression of understanding all sorts of feelings and experiences that they have never had. I'm thinking of cheeky young novelists and songwriters who somehow make people believe they've tapped the depths. Stuff like this.
It says a lot about both Favreau and Obama that they apparently find it acceptable to generalize their supposed beliefs as "this stuff". I'm surprised that given Favreau's demographic and apparent lifestyle he didn't say "a speech can broaden the circle of people who care about this shit." Shit, stuff... who can be bothered to actually be specific about any of that "hopey-changey" nonsense? Apparently not even Obama or the guy who writes the crap for him.
In a way, though, this guy is the archetype of the Obama devotee. He doesn't really have much in the way of life experience or wisdom, but he's smart enough and educated enough that he can simulate it. Everything is simply meta-comment, removed from actual experiences, motivations or beliefs. He can cobble together lofty-sounding rhetoric while living in a house with six people, sitting up all night playing video games and then, presumably, sleeping all day while the "average person who's been hurting" is out there trying to pay the bills. He thinks it perfectly appropriate to tell his boss, the next President of the United States of America, that his deadline is getting in the way of his vacation and, amazingly, his boss accepts that. Because why let something trivial like another lofty, empty speech at the Presidential Inauguration get in the way of "visiting friends in Manhattan"? Now, of course, he's rolling in cash so he calls up a real estate agent and orders an apartment and calls up Pottery Barn and orders some furniture so he can set up something approaching one of those "home" things that the "average person who's been hurting" seem to like and want so much. Hell, maybe he should start thinking about getting one of those "family" things that everyone seems to have... Eh, who has time for that now? He's got so much "hope" and "change" to cram into another speech, so many ill-fitting suits to buy, so many raids scheduled in World of Warcraft... and he hasn't even shaven yet!
Jon Favreau: a blank slate writing aphorisms onto another blank slate.
Or should I say shit. But I like stuff: