Has Obama Lived Up to His Soaring Campaign Speeches? We Asked His Former Chief Speechwriter

Reason TV sits down with Jon Favreau for a spirited discussion of Trump's rhetoric and Obama's record on mass surveillance, whistleblowers, drugs, & drones.


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In 2005, when then-Senator Barack Obama needed a wordsmith to capture the soaring spirit of his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, he hired a 24-year-old named Jon Favreau. Fresh from college, Favreau had earned a sterling reputation as a speechwriter for John Kerry during his presidential run, and now he was tasked with helping lift Obama to the presidency.

The wunderkind political messager, who Obama has called his "mind reader" and considered one of his most valued confidantes, served as his chief speechwriter from 2005 to 2013.

"Favs," as the president calls him, was named as one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in 2009. He currently co-hosts the podcast Keepin' It 1600 and writes a political column for The Ringer. He was also a speaker at last weekend's Politicon.

Reason TV's Justin Monticello sat down with Favreau to discuss Trump's approach to messaging, why he now supports Hillary after attacking her in 2008, how the Libertarian Party can appeal to voters, and whether Obama's presidency has lived up to the lofty promises and inspiring rhetoric that Favreau crafted.

18:47 minutes.

Produced and Edited by Justin Monticello. Shot by Alexis Garcia and Alex Manning. Music by Pavel Malkov and RW Smith.

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