Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Writer in the White House

Jon Favreau must be pissed. The actor/screenwriter/director of Swingers and Iron Man fame spent 20 years clawing his way to the top only to be upstaged by a young speechwriter of the same name. This morning, if only for a moment, Jon Favreau, the 27-year old leader of Obama’s speechwriting team supplanted Hollywood's Favreau as the top Google result for that name.

I love to see a young writer get so much attention. And it’s exciting that Obama himself is being called the best writer to hit the White House since Lincoln. In a time when everyone from Bill Clinton to Jenna Jameson commands a team of ghostwriters, it’s refreshing to hear that Obama wrote his literary memoir, Dreams from my Father, himself.  

Obama will understandably be too busy to write much during his years in office, but one can assume the legendary control freak will ensure his own literary touch does not disappear from at least his most important orations.

Finally, it’s worth reiterating what a badass Lincoln was. He wrote everything himself. The guy had a few other things going on in 1863, but he somehow found the time to write one of most celebrated prose poems in American literature:

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

1 comment:

  1. Okay, this is kind of a pointless comment, but that picture is really freaking me out.