December 6th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama speechwriter Favreau learns the perils of Facebook

This photo of Favreau and Clinton appeared on Facebook Friday.

This photo of Favreau and Clinton appeared on Facebook Friday.

(CNN) - Jon Favreau, future White House director of speechwriting, has so far been at a loss for words over Facebook pictures of him at a recent party.

Pictures of Favreau, 27, at a recent party appeared on Facebook Friday. In one of the photos, Favreau, who served as President-elect Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter during the campaign season, was dancing with a life-sized cardboard cut-out of future secretary of state Hillary Clinton. In a second photo, a friend was offering the cutout a bottle of beer while Favreau stood beside the likeness with his hand on the cardboard New York senator’s chest.

The picture was reportedly up for a scant two hours or so before Favreau removed it, along with every other picture of himself beyond his profile photo - but there’s no getting the Facebook genie back in the bottle.

Favreau wasn’t talking to reporters about the incident, but transition officials said he had offered an apology to Clinton.

The Clinton camp reaction? "Sen. Clinton is pleased to learn of Jon's obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application," Clinton aide Philippe Reines told the Washington Post.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (717 Responses)
  1. Political Non-specialist

    I suppose the Clinton camp is trying to avoid conflict before Obama even enters office. In other words, I don't think she wants to put Obama in a tough spot by demanding that this guy get fired. I'm also not sure what she could accomplish by making a big deal out of this. The photo is pretty atrocious and doesn't need embellishment because it speaks for itself, and she has already established herself as an agent against sexism.

    This guy showed a huge lack of judgment by not thinking about how his actions could affect Obama. I say give him a break, everybody makes mistakes, but remind him and everyone else that they represent the Obama camp in the eyes of the public. Any future behavior like this should not be tolerated, especially because there are tons of qualified people who would love to have those jobs.

    December 6, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. sick n tired

    Thats what you can expect from a buzzed 20 something at a party! We were all there at one time in our lives so just calm down people! THIS IS NOT NEWS! GET OVER IT!!!!!

    December 6, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Bill

    I don't think it's a big deal, but if Obama is serious about changing the tone, he needs to can this clown. Not because of his actions, but because he clearly lacks the judgement necessary for his position. Its one thing to get drunk and act like an idiot, but anyone working in politics for more than maybe a week or two would know better than to post pictures of this stupidity on Facebook.

    December 6, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Gypsy Zingaro

    OMG. Really? This guy is a speechwriter AND, still more intelligent and mature than Bush. To what is left of the evangelical, puritanical bourgeois who have been maligning this country for the last 8 years– Lighten up, crack open a beer, and relax. The illusory horror that has been stirred in your mind is almost over. If Secretary of State Clinton can laugh about it, what is wrong with you? Why does it matter to YOU? Let it go. Learn to have fun again. And to those of you who are "deeply disgusted" and absolutely offended, I recommend you get out more because there are WAY worse things to be upset about, EVEN on your TV! Are you that mad that we are in 2 wars? A recession due to greed? We lost our liberties? My guess is no, and that you are just reactionary for the thrill of it. Let go. I implore you. Have a wonderful day.

    December 6, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. JM from MO

    People mess up–it is natural to do so. Yes, this situation shouldn't have arisen BUT he IS 27, he IS still young, and he STILL has a lot to learn. He made a simple mistake, like everyone else, in which he probably get over it.

    December 6, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    I wish some people felt this deeply offended when our young men and women were sent off to war "with the army we have" – and ended up scrounging around in dumps to find armor for their car ...

    Silly and stupid? Yes. Did someone learn a lesson? I'm betting so!

    Frankly speaking I am more offended by the CEO's of AIG and CitiBank using taxpayers' money for meetings at fancy resorts, their high salaries and the million of dollar bonus money (our money) that they will get this year.

    Guessing those so deeply offended were McCain/Palin supporters. I was also offended by Palin giggling at a slaughter house while live turkeys were being killed behind her on national news.

    Lots of stuff to be offended by: a little perspective wouldn't hurt!

    December 6, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. bob

    martin December 6th, 2008 1:22 pm ET

    Obama supporters have been disgusting, sexist, and rude to Hillary during the campaign. This isn't a surprise. Obama supporters on the left are worse than some of McCain supporters on the right.

    Also notice that Obama ignored Latinos and Asians in his cabinet while both groups voted heavily for Obama. Isn't it interesting that the GOP was the first to appoint a Latino to the top for cabinet posts and an Asian to Sec. of Transportation.

    Its funny. Watch Democrats deny the first Vietnamese American a seat in the House and instead, give it to a black man who is indicted for taking bribes and hiding it in his freezer.
    I don't know what world you live in but the one I live in, you have to get elected not given or denied.......

    December 6, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Jon


    You guys are calling this sexism? Get real. Plenty of women have danced with cardboard cutouts of men in their day... I've seen it done.

    Yes it's immature, perhaps he shouldn't be part of the new administration, but that is something for Obama/his transition team/the new state department to decide.

    December 6, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. WGraves

    With all that going on in world.....who cares. I'm sure he its getting an ear full from The new White House Chief of Staff. Let's not forget people all over have been making fun of Hillery and everyone else in the public spotlight for years. I guess we all forget Saturday Night Live , Comedy Central and many other's.

    December 6, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Larry the trucker

    I think its funny. Both the picture and the fact the guy was stupid enough to let his picture be taken like that. He should know in that kind of job that the camera is always on.

    Also to Martin, can we please leave race out of who gets what position on his cabinet. I think he's hiring the best person for the job not keeping score of how racially diverse his cabinet is. Can't we just look at people as just American, not (insert race here)/American. I mean yeah be proud of your ancestry and heritage, but your American 1st.

    December 6, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Concerned

    It is a shame that based on the on-line activities Obama got so much control over the election. Now people will see how immature a group is in charge of the country now. Boy, don't we feel relieved that we made such a sound judgment !!

    December 6, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Potato

    A 27 year old male doing something incredibly stupid and immature? No way – Go figure! @

    December 6, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Dan

    Who cares, he was having fun at a party. But what a dumb way to damage a career, he should have known better. At the very least, don't let your friends post pictures of you doing stupid things online.

    December 6, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Voter

    What an idiot. Yeah, his job's toast. I guess somebody forgot to tell him never to post anything incriminating on the internet since anybody (including your employer) can see it.

    And it doesn't sound as if Clinton's reacting to the picture, somehow I don't think that's how she'd react to seeing a drunk young guy who's working for Obama laughing and 'grabbing' her breast in a gesture of obvious mockery and disrespect.

    December 6, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Michael

    Wow, this is the worst thing that has happened so far? I thought it was something serious like a war or the economy? Glad to see that "silly pictures" that everyone has BTW; is the worse thing to worry about in the Obama administration.

    December 6, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Amanda

    That is very funny. Hillary should be pleased that at her age she is still attracting young men.
    PS. Ask Bill's opinion on the matter ...

    December 6, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Max

    I LOL'ed at the photo...seriously..get off your high horses people...It was all in good jest....At least people from the incoming administration have a sense of humour and are not petrified blocks of wood....Im pretty sure Senator Clinton has had far worse situations then getting groped as a cardboard cut out....sheesh.

    December 6, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. Shannon

    This just goes to show that just because someone takes a picture of you at a party doesn't mean it needs to get plastered all over your FACEBOOK page. It's really not that big of a deal but for someone who has political ambitions, he clearly should have known better.

    December 6, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Denine

    That's awesome! A little laugh in these rough times is something we all need. I'm sure Hillary got a good laugh out of it too.

    December 6, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. IonaTrailer

    No one cares what you do at some party with your frat-boy, retard friends, but DUDE! you don't post stupid stuff to a public website if you want to work in the government. DUH!

    December 6, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. BigDeal

    I for one don't have a problem with this. Come on, people! When did fun become a bad thing? Yes, it was stupid and juvenile. But, he is 27. He is intelligent which is evident in his position to President-elect Obama. But even intelligent people want to let down their guard and just enjoy life at times.
    Part of the problem is everything is scrutinized and meaning placed on absolutely every action. Some things don't mean anything. How many people here have had a couple of drinks, relaxed, and just enjoyed the friendship of others. The only thing wrong was that someone had a camera and took the picture. I have pics of some people at parties that I am sure could be distorted.

    December 6, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Matt, Chico, CA

    alradytireofit... how is this disrespectful to women... he should be let go because he clearly is an immature idiot... similar to the rest of Obama's supporters

    December 6, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. Robert

    I find it amusing all these comments about his age and how he's not qualified. Well you baby boomers did a GREAT JOB of sending us into the 2nd Great Depression, so you know what your turn is over. The young people (myself included) aren't too pleased we have to support you during your old age because you screwed us over so much. So if I were you I'd sit down and shut up.

    We are tired of your old ideas ruining this country.

    December 6, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Jenny

    So what.

    December 6, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Gary - Denver

    I hope someone in the Obama circle is reading this. I may not be the brightest light on the tree, but I have enough common sense to know how to conduct my self in such an elevated position, and in front of a camera no less!

    Jon, don't every take yourself too seriously, but your job, now that's another story.

    December 6, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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