At a Glance
- Career History:
Speechwriter, Va. Gov.
(D); Assistant, Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) (since 2002)
- Hometown: New York City
- Alma Mater: Rice University; New York University
- Spouse: Ann Norris
- Office: The White House
- Email : N/A
- Web site
Path to Power
Rhodes grew up in New York City, where he attended the prestigious prep school Collegiate and aspired to be a fiction writer, keeping a copy of Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" in his back pocket.
After college in Texas, Rhodes returned to the Big Apple to join the 1997 reelection campaign of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), where he did opposition research on rival Ruth Messigner (D).
Rhodes is a foreign affairs realist who has worked on national security and Iraq war policy.
He has drafted or helped draft several of Obama's most important speeches, including his rousing talk in Berlin, his argument for intervening in tribal areas of Pakistan to root out terrorists, and his fervent declaration of support for Israel at AIPAC in June.
Rhodes is the self-described "elder statesman" of a speechwriting team that included Jon Favreau and Adam Frankel.
He worked closely with former congressman Lee Hamilton. Former Hamilton aides Denis McDonough, Dan Shapiro, and Dan Restrepo also moved to the Obama campaign.