Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shameless Media Fawning (continued)

lThe Washington Post steals a march on the rest of the sycophantic media with a fawning profie of the 27 year old man with the job of heading up the Obama Speechwriting Team. Some glimpses into the world of executive speechwriting remind me why I hated that job so much. Favreau seems to have it pretty easy, as his own talent, his knack for knowing Obama's mind, and Obama's own discipline seem to make for a smooth cadence between them.

Got a story for you. I was at one point in my life, the speechwriter for the Chief of Naval Operations. I spent virtually every day of the first eight months I was in the job thinking I was going to get fired...I just wasn't giving my boss what he wanted. I'd go off and write a beautiful, lyric speech on whatever it was he was to talk about, and he's trash it and do his own stuff from his head.

Two things changed that. The first was the realization that I wasn't there to write lyrical, memorable speeches. I was there to write speeches that he felt comfortable giving. The second was one day when we were working on a speech for the next day (he never looked at anything I'd written until the end of the day before it was to be given...usually late in the day...). I could see he was getting frustrated, that I hadn't hit the mark (again). He blurted out "Crimedog (what he called me), you're just not listening to what I'm saying". At this point, I figured I was on my way out anyway, so I'd go down with an empty magazine. "CNO, my listening skills are not the problem here. My mind-reading skills clearly need work." He looked at me and asked what I meant. "Sir, where exactly would it have been that I heard you express your opinion on (blank)?" He answered, "well, I said it just the other day in (blank meeting)". "Sir, that's a meeting I'm excluded from. In fact, most of what you say that is of interest takes place in meetings from which I am excluded." He looked at me and said, "You're right, and that changes today." He told the EA to make sure that I'm invited to important meetings, and for the rest of my time, I got to be a fly on the wall in some really incredible meetings and my speechwriting improved. I didn't abuse the privilege, I just went when I thought there would be interesting dialogue.


Anonymous said...

Good story (yours). And admit it-doesn't having the life of that Obama speechwriter sound even mildly attractive to you?

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Maybe if I were 27....but not 43.

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