News Americas

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Blow as president loses his 'voice' and collaborator

Tim Walker

Published 07/02/2013 | 04:00

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US PRESIDENT Barack Obama is losing his voice. Jon Favreau, the speechwriter who helped craft many of Mr Obama's addresses, is departing the White House on March 1 to try his hand at screenwriting. In a statement, Mr Obama said the 31-year-old, pictured, whom he once described as his "mind reader", had become "a friend and a collaborator on virtually every major speech I've given".

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Mr Favreau is not simply known for his fine prose. He was named one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" by 'Time', and one of the "50 Most Powerful in DC" by 'GQ'; and he was also ranked among the world's most beautiful people by 'People' magazine.

During his four years in Washington he has been photographed not only working hard with Mr Obama in the Oval Office, but also playing beer-pong (a drinking game that involves bouncing a table-tennis ball into a cup of beer) shirtless in a Georgetown bar, and dating actress Rashida Jones, star of 'The Social Network'.

Mr Favreau (pictured) first met Mr Obama in 2004, when he was working as a junior speechwriter for John Kerry, then the Democrat presidential nominee and Senator for Massachusetts, Mr Favreau's home state.

Mr Obama, running for the US Senate, had been invited to address the Democratic National Convention. Mr Favreau was dispatched by Mr Kerry to ensure there were no overlaps. And as Mr Obama rehearsed the remarks that would bring him to the world's attention, he was interrupted by Mr Favreau, then 23, who suggested a few improvements.

Following Mr Kerry's defeat, Favreau has said his "idealism and enthusiasm for politics was crushed ... It took Barack to rekindle that". (© Independent News Service)

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