Obama Speechwriter Leaving White House to Pen Screenplays
President Obama's head speechwriter, Jon Favreau, is poised for a big career change.
The speechwriter, who was just 23 when he joined then-Senator Obama’s staff, will leave his job March 1 and is considering pursuing a career writing scripts, the Los Angeles Times reports.
(He is of no relation to the Iron Man director of the same name.)
During his tenure, Favreau cultivated a celebrity persona of sorts, dating actress Rashida Jones (NBC’s Parks and Recreation) and taking her to the 2007 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. He was named one of People’s most beautiful people in the world in 2009 and has been touted as an influential figure by GQ, Time and Vanity Fair.
Favreau’s friends say he is interested in following in the footsteps of former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, who went on to co-create NBC’s political comedy 1600 Penn. He plans on staying in Washington for the immediate future, but may move to Los Angeles.
Obama advisor David Plouffe praised Favreau's versatility, saying as a screenwriter he has the ability to write a variety of genres, including comedy, history, drama and suspense.
During his time at the White House, Favreau penned big speeches for the president, including Obama’s first inaugural address and his healthcare speech to Congress. The president thanked him for his service Tuesday.
"He has become a friend and a collaborator on virtually every major speech I've given in the Senate, on the campaign trail and in the White House,” Obama said in a statement.
Favreau’s successor will be Cody Keenan, who is a Chicago native in charge of writing Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address and previously headed up the effort on Obama’s remarks following last December's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.