In His Candidate’s Voice
"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
"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."
Some speeches are much more the product of the candidate himself. Obama e-mailed Favreau his draft of his announcement speech in Springfield, Ill., at 4 a.m. on the morning of the campaign launch last February.
Now Favreau has his own team: Adam Frankel, a 26-year-old who worked with Ted Sorensen on his memoirs, and Ben Rhodes, a 30-year-old who worked with Lee Hamilton on the 9/11 commission's report.