The Washington Post

Obama chief speechwriter leaving White House

President Obama and Jon Favreau in the Oval Office on Jan. 24, 2011. (Pete Souza/The White House)

We confirmed, via our colleague Chris Cillizza, who got it from a senior White House official, a Los Angeles Times report Tuesday that Favreau is leaving his job March 1, maybe to do some screenwriting, though he’ll be staying in the D.C. area.

We wrote back Dec. 4 that the White House buzz was that Favreau was heading out soon, likely after the inauguration. Then in January, we reported that his deputy, Cody Keenan, one of the original team of Obama speechwriters, was likely to succeed him, which is the case.

Keenan, the Times reported, is taking the lead in writing the State of the Union address Obama is to deliver next week.

Favreau, Loop Fans will recall, has been with Obama since Senate days and is credited with penning some of Obama’s best stuff since then.

Even in the “no drama Obama” White House, Favreau became something of celebrity in town, being named by People one of the world’s most beautiful people. Didn’t hurt that he also dated actress Rashida Jones, the daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton.

While there was that shirtless beer pong incident in a Georgetown bar in 2010 and a long profile in GQ in June 2011, Favreau’s seemed a bit more low-key of late.

Obama said Tuesday in a statement that Favreau “has become a friend and a collaborator on virtually every major speech I’ve given in the Senate, on the campaign trail and in the White House.”

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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