In today’s WAPO Eli Saslow writes a profile of Jon Favreau — at 27 the youngest person ever to be named head of the White House speechwriting shop.
This is certainly a more dignified appearance than the last time Mr. Favreau surfaced in the blatts. But buried in its depths is a detail that took my breath away:
Last month, Favreau met for an hour in Chicago with Obama and adviser David Axelrod, as is their habit before important speeches. Obama told him to make the inaugural address no longer than 15 or 20 minutes, and they agreed to theme it 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.” Obama asked for a first draft by Thanksgiving. Favreau explained that he had planned a vacation and promised a draft by this week.
Let me get this straight.
- You’re 27 years old and you’re about to be given a signal honor in the history of the American presidency by being placed in charge of speechwriting at the White House.
- You have been tasked with writing the first draft of the Inaugural Address of the forty-forth POTUS.
- The POTUSE has personally given you guidance on the direction he wants to take, and asked you for a first draft by Thanksgiving (24 November).
- You say you have a vacation planned and that you can have something for him by this week (14 December).
I’m not sure which I find more remarkable: Mr. Favreau’s insouciance or Mr. Obama’s complaisance.