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He mentions the specter of North Korea and the rise of China, of engaging the latter in talks on trade and human rights issues.
And, as he almost always does, Obama talks a little about himself—calling himself the first Pacific president, thanks to his Hawaiian birth and his childhood stint in Indonesia. He’s across the street, in the lobby of the Okura hotel, where a White House videographer has corralled him, stuck him in front of a potted bonsai tree to talk about the speech for the White House website.
Obama’s appeal as a candidate was almost inseparable from his gifts as a talker.
Unlike in most presidential campaigns of the past 25 years, in fact, the most memorable moments of the race came from speeches, addresses written at least in part by one Jon Favreau of North Reading, Massachusetts: the victory speeches in Iowa, the address in Berlin, the race speech in Philadelphia, the acceptance of the Democratic Party nomination in Denver.
The video lasts less than two minutes, yet it offers what has been the most detailed account to date regarding the nature of Favreau’s work for Barack Obama.
“And it’s not Solid Boring,” she wrote, “which is fine in a president and may be good.
It’s sort of Faux Eloquent Boring.” It wasn’t just philosophical opponents making such assessments.
From the first moments of his notoriety, though, Favreau has faced the problem of any good ghostwriter: trying to hide in plain sight.
The man who speaks the words is supposed to get the credit. A former president of the , Obama had made serious attempts to write fiction, penned a memoir that would go on to become a bestseller, and launched his career in national politics by giving a speech—the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention—he had written himself.