I'm catching up on reading a few odds and ends that didn't appear in the Middletown Journal this month.
An article in Dec. 18 Washington Post adds to the mountain of unwelcome information we already have about President-elect Obama's speechwriter Jon Favreau, who I'm starting to suspect is trying to get himself fired, so he can avoid wasting the rest of his twenties splitting infinitives ad infinitum with White House policy creeps.
How else can we explain the fact that Favreau is publicly sweating out the writing of the inaugural address:
He listened to recordings of past inaugural addresses and met with
Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan's speechwriter, to seek advice. One of
Favreau's assistants interviewed historians such as David McCullough.
Still more daunting is the list of things Favreau can't
think about as he writes the inaugural. He went for a run to the
Lincoln Memorial last month and stopped in his tracks when he imagined
the mall packed with 3 million people listening to some of his words. A
few weeks later, Favreau winced when Obama spokesman Bill Burton
reminded him: "Dude, what you're writing is going to be hung up in
people's living rooms!"
"If you start thinking about what's at stake, it can get paralyzing," Favreau said.
So your solution is to tell the Washington Post and the world how much pressure you're under? Like, too much transparency, Dude!
Jon, I speak for all communicators over the age of 30 when I advise you: Add to your list of pre-speech preparatory activities: Don't give any interviews during the writing (and don't give any afterwards, either).
One wonders why Obama hasn't come down on the young man yet. Bigger fish to fry, I suppose. But you heard it at Writing Boots first: No matter what kind of inaugural address Favreau writes (and I hope it's a doozy), he won't be around this time next year. And it'll be for the best—for everyone involved.