Favreau was only 27, the youngest chief speechwriter ever, four years ago when he helped craft and edit President Obama’s first inaugural address. And he’s also credited with penning some of Obama’s best stuff during the 2008 campaign.
Favreau became something of a celebrity in town for a while in the new administration, dating actress Rashida Jones, the daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton.
But the gifted wordsmith, while still very much on the scene — there was that shirtless incident in a Georgetown bar in 2010 and then that long profile in GQ in June 2011 — has been less the celeb of late.
Unclear what the departure date will be, but most likely after the inaugural or after the State of the Union in February.
Taming the gotcha game?
Thinking of snagging a top position in the Obama administration, one that needs Senate confirmation? Have you seen “The Wizard of Oz” lately?
But the reality is more “Night of the Living Dead” than yellow brick road. As Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who knows the problems first-hand — he was confirmed in 1991 as secretary of education — puts it: The nomination process “has degenerated into a time-consuming, unfair ordeal that creates an ‘innocent until nominated’ syndrome.” That’s why people call it a “gotcha game.”
But help is on the way. A high-powered bipartisan group of current and former experts in politics, technology and personnel — led by
, a senior official at the Office of Management and Budget, and including Obama, Bush II and Clinton administration personnel chiefs — has come up with solid recommendations to streamline the paperwork blizzard that confounds hapless job-seekers.
Sure, it’s another “working group,” but this one was authorized by a recently enacted federal law. So this time may be different. Really.
The group — which includes FBI Deputy Director
, Office of Government Ethics deputy general counsel
Walter M. Shaub Jr. and former senators
(D-Del.) — has been working closely with the 17 (that’s seventeen) Senate committees that confirm nominees, making sure there’s Senate buy-in.
The team’s recent report focuses on trimming and improving the forms applicants need to fill out on their bios and financial records.
Many of these various questionnaires haven’t really been updated for 60 years — although new questions are added after every dust-up. (Think nannies.)
Everyone’s favorite is the one on the basic government form that demands you list all the places you’ve ever traveled to. That was included in 1953, during the Cold War, when people didn’t travel nearly as much. Answering it now is a nightmare for many people.
And you may have to answer that question many times pre-nomination, and then for Senate consideration. Seems on average over half the questions on the existing administration and Senate forms are duplicated.