Obama’s Top Speechwriter is a Gamer

The guy who is currently working on Barack Obama’s inaugural address is a big gamer.

In a Washington Post profile, Jon "Favs" Favreau is described as "totally synced up" with the President-elect and gets "access to everything and everybody" on the Obama team.

But Favreau likes to kick back with video games, according to the WaPo:

Three months ago, Favreau lived in a group house with six friends in Chicago, where he rarely shaved, never cooked and sometimes stayed up to play video games until early morning…


When the [campaign] pressure wore on Favreau, he unwound like a 27-year-old, sending prank e-mails to friends at the Obama offices or playing the video game Rock Band in the Lincoln Park group house…

GP: It’s great to see gamers moving into high places!

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  1. Sai says:

    You realize presidents have had speechwriters since, like, forever right? It’s not like the president doesn’t have any imput, the speechwriter just frames it in an organized way.

  2. JustChris says:

    Barack is just the loudspeaker? Haha, you have it backwards. The writer doesn’t just start writing without any input from Barack. The president elect brainstorms speeches from his own ideas.

  3. GameTrades says:

    May not add much to this conversation, but neither have you and it didn’t take me 5+ posts either.  I made the claim because you demonstrated that you don’t know what a speech writer actually does. And the proof is, well, here:

     Which is pretty pathetic when you think about it. Did you vote for Barack or this guy? It seems like this guy is making all the promises and Barack is just the loudspeaker for them.

     With that, I am done posting about this.

  4. Derovius says:

     Welcome to the posting community of GP, but I really wish you would have stayed silent. You really add nothing to the conversation beyond, "No! You’re wrong!".

     If you must make such a claim, reinforce is with corrections or simply stay on the sidelines.

  5. GameTrades says:

    Correct. However, the speaker will frequently add other comments during the speech. But, yes, the speech writer organizes and polishes the raw info.

  6. Monte says:

    Er, no… the speechwriter’s opuinions and views are not reflected in the speech… the candidate tells the writer what he wants to say… he tells him, "i want to dicuss this topic", "talk about these facts", "make these promises", "praise this ally", "talk tough about this enemey", "smear this politician/political party", "dodge this issue", "Tell this Lie" and so forth… and then the writer writes a speech based off of that… It’s the feelings of the candidate, but in the words of the speechwriter

  7. GameTrades says:

    I have been a reader here for years and I was forced to register just to comment on this.  You sir/madam, obviously have ZERO understanding of what a speech writer does.  If you think that the writer is the one speaking for the President (elect, as of now), you are clueless.

  8. Derovius says:

     Your system for choosing a president leaves alot to be desired. Its ultimately a true or false test. Do I hate candidate A more than B? Yes/No.

  9. Derovius says:

     Which is pretty pathetic when you think about it. Did you vote for Barack or this guy? It seems like this guy is making all the promises and Barack is just the loudspeaker for them.

  10. SimonBob says:

    Putting words in the mouth of the leader of the free world is a little different from posting insane rambling blog entries on whatever website JT got his new job at — for one thing, somebody’s actually going to pay attention when Obama talks.  Favs probably makes a lot more coin, too.  He’s got the ears and the taxes of the nation under his keyboard.

    The Mammon Industry

  11. Keddren says:

    You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about if you’re comparing a presidential speechwriter to Jack Thompson.

  12. Derovius says:

     No, not since I last checked. You telling me some guy who writes bullshit for a living is worth envy? I guess J.T. is nigh unto a god by your definition.

  13. Karsten Aaen says:

    So – we now have friends in high places 🙂   Sorry – couldn’t resist.

    I haven’t a problem with Favreau playing ‘Guitar Hero’ – at least he knows how it is to be a gamer. And to be absorbed or engrosses, in something or be dedicated to something e.g. playing Guitar Hero. He also knows that video games are not ‘the evil’ monster that some people would like to treat them as they are/were.

    As for Obama’s position on videogames, I agree with it. It may be because I’m a teacher myself 🙂 —-

    I fully support that homework comes first, then videogames and tv. However, noone has said that playing, talking or studying videogames can’t be part of the homework students need to learn in class.

    I’m teaching a ethics/religion class next semester – and I’m already thinking about how I can use examples from say Fallout 3 or Dracula: Origins to discuss good or evil etc. with my students.


  14. zel says:

    Ya, he was prolly playing WoW but if that got out you just know everyone would flip out 😛


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  15. LoopyChew says:

    Seriously?  Have you never seen people on ScoreHero or the main Rock Band site?  People posting scoring strategies, bending the system to get every last point out of a song, people discussing how many songs they’ve Gold-Starred and on which instrument?  The terminology and acronyms used (Squeezing, GSing, BQP, BWT, more music-based terms)?  The merits of/problems with the charting of a specific song, the endless discussions on game mechanics, the insane modding that goes on with the instruments (or turning electronic instruments into in-game instruments)?  How about iamchris4life, who has managed to play both Through The Fire and Flames and Jordan on Expert without missing any notes whatsoever?

    You can’t tell me none of that is "Hardcore," not in any objective sense of the word.

    Just because someone doesn’t play RTS games like no tomorrow or has no idea what you’re talking about when you finally make it past Horde level 10 doesn’t mean they’re not a hardcore gamer.  It just means they’re not a hardcore RTSer or Gears player, respectively.

  16. Bennett Beeny says:

    It really doesn’t matter ‘what’ they play.  The proof of a ‘hardcore’ gamer is in how much time they devote to games.

  17. finaleve says:

    Honestly, games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero can’t truly be considered hardcore gamers.  The only way possible is if you attend competitions…

    MMO’s can’t fully become hardcore too much either because you can play just for the fun of hanging out with some people (Like i would do) and just screw around and talk.

    But then…in this day and age, its hard to draw the line of hardcore and casual gamers.

  18. Kroiky says:

    Part of the article says that more than once he stayed up all night playing video games, im willing to bet that hes playing something other than rock band. Theyre probably just mentioning one video game that everyone knows and doesnt have issues with.

  19. Arell says:

    Just once, I’d like to see a gamer in politics that plays something other than Guitar Hero or Rock Band.  Where the hell are the Senators that throw down with a three hour session of SupCom, or frags noobs on the weekend in Team Fortress 2?  You know, I’m not saying that GH or RB aren’t serious games, but boasting that you play them is like saying you like to read novels, then list off Harry Potter books.  Not so impressive.  Come on, give us a hardcore gamer!

  20. Arell says:

    And if they played Chuzzle and Zuma for 5 hours a night?  Bah, can’t do it.  The label "hardcore" must have standards!  😀

  21. finaleve says:

    Nah, its just something along the lines of getting your attention for a minute.  There wasn’t anything like "Stop playing games because they are bad" or anything along the lines.

  22. Monte says:

    Or maybe, He is taking what Obama wants to say, and just organizing it, making it sound nice and is not injecting his own opinion into the speech… That’s what speech writers do… the speeches are the feelings of the candidate translated into the words of the writer’s; nothing more

    also, it’s been pointed out repeatedly, saying "put down the controllers" is not really an Anti-game statement as all it really amounts to is "don’t play all day" and doesn’t at all mean "NEVER play video games, ever"; which is a very true statement since you should make sure you get work done first before you go have fun

  23. glamnesia says:

    Wait…didn’t several of Obama’s speeches, reported right here on Game Politics, say something along the lines of ‘it’s time to put away the video games’. Either Favreau has a great sense of irony or wants to get a few people off the servers to improve his Call of Duty ping.

  24. Papa Shango says:

     Ah you can tell he’s a gamer because he doesn’t know how to cook and likes to look like a hobo in his spare time.

    Well we’re moving on up! To the east side…to a deluxe apartment in the sky

  25. Derovius says:

     You mean gamers in servitude. I wouldn’t call a speech writer for anyone a high place, unless you’re trying to make some sort of pun.

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