December 6th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
6 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. childish, but not unexpected or overly sexist

    it seems typical of a 27 year old man. not to belittle it, but some are taking this too seriously.

    December 6, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Amara (teen from NJ)

    Although a Democrat, and an avid supporter of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, this incident just made me angry.
    As a woman, I find this offensive, and bothersome. This was a stupid act, and a greater apology should be made.
    As an active facebook user, one should know how easily things on the Internet can be used, and someone at the age of 27, especially someone who has had a major role in this campaign, should realize what kinds of pictures are being taken and posted, and how they can easily be circulated with sites such as facebook.
    All in all, this was a very stupid move by Favreau. I wouldn't want to be harsh and say he should be let off, but this is truly demeaning to women everywhere.
    I'm only fifteen, and this incident is making my angry every time I see it. I agree with Campbell Brown on this one.
    And I'm really sort of disappointed from Hillary's response. She is my role model, as I was hoping she would set a greater example by setting this incident right.

    December 6, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Michael

    I think this is a big deal. I think it is hypocritical from an Obama speech writer, someone who contributes to all those high-sounding platitudes to fall into this kind of disrespectful behavior when they don't think someone is looking. It makes me wonder how sincere those platitudes are.

    What would be the reaction if it was a Clinton aide with with his hand or head on the crotch of an Obama cut-out?

    December 6, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Annon

    Okay, I agree this was very childish and disrespectful. But I wish the Hillary worshipers would go somewhere and sit down. She's not the messiah!!!

    Obama should dismiss this guy from his staff; he doesn't need someone in the White House dumb enough to do something so stupid and then post it on Facebook. Haven't we seen others make this mistake? Men just don't learn and this is one he deserves to pay for in a big way.

    There's no time for silly distractions our country has enormous issues to address. Those that aren't mature enough to know they have to project a certain image at ALL times should not be able to be a part of the solution; since ultimaely they are part of the problem. GOOD RIDDENACE...

    December 6, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Memphiskid

    This is completely inappropriate that this guy, apart of Obama's team would do such a dispicable thing! It exhibits his lack of respect for his former boss, Obama and the next secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Although I disagree with both on some issues, never would I do such a thing, obviously this man has no home training and no respect for women or himself! He should be punished and not allowed a spot in Obama's Administration- PERIOD!!

    December 6, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. YT

    I'm a feminist and have said and done many politically incorrect things in the name of goofing off and having fun, things I'd never do in a public setting where my actions could be misconstrued. This picture may mean nothing more than that for him. He should have used better judgment as a public figure, even if he is behind the scenes. Lesson learned, I bet.

    December 6, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. So What

    Why is anything with sexual references automatically considered sexism?? It was a stupid picture by an obviously immature individual who did not consider the consequences of his actions. End of story. Get off the high horse and stop preaching about the evils of men and how this degrades women. i have seen plenty of pictures of women posing with men making lewd gestures. Who cares?? It is not the downfall of society people. Relax.

    Of course there is no option but to let this guy go and let him grow up. When you are in a position such as his, you need to be careful about your actions. That is why you never should drink at an office party.

    December 6, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Tim from the Heart of NY

    I think the response was wonderful - an ingeneous put-down of a guy who was thoughtless and looked like he was fresh from the bottle. It's nice to have a piece of Washington that doesn't have to make a big issue about a dumb act but can treat it with some humor.

    December 6, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Lew

    The problem is not that Jon did this, but that Obama tolerates it. Another blow for the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" Obamaniacs. How long will they continue to make excuses for their saviour?

    December 6, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Pat Pa.

    I guess this is one of those things called " learning the hard way ".

    Stupid. stupid, on his part. When will everyone learn that no matter where you are, and what you are doing, someone will be there with a camera and the next thing you know, bang, your picture is out there.

    He needs to face Hillary in person and offer his apology. Doing it through the media is not good enough.

    December 6, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Dennis

    Freaking hilarious...

    If anyone takes this seriously, please remove the stick from your sphincter.

    Happy holidays!

    December 6, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Ryan

    Who cares?

    December 6, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. cheryl

    Gee, once again, the media is all but ignoring an example of blatant sexism while they are ripe to pounce on any small hint of racism. Bill Clinton was pummeled for comparing Obama's SC win to Jesse Jackson's. Yet an Obama administration member can be part of a picture that depicts beer being poured down the throat of Senator Clinton while being groped merits hardly a whisper. Pathetic. This punk should be let go asap. Scary to think Obama would choose such an immature imbecile to put words into his mouth.

    December 6, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Pat

    This is not a big deal – AT ALL. Let's put this "incident" in perspective. Failing economy, millions starving do death around the world – and yet people get all worked up about a photograph? This is pure idiocracy.

    December 6, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Vik

    What kind of idiot would post it on facebook! Was he still drunk when he did it? LOL, dumb move, that will cost him a few points.

    December 6, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. John

    I wonder if a Clinton staffer had put chains around an Obama cut out and taken a picture if the press wouldn't be asking for his or her head. If this guy isnt fired it will be an outrage. But the Obama press will cover this for a day and then let it go. Even by the title on the front page. They would never have presented this possibly being a joke if about Obama.

    December 6, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Silence Dogood

    This was the kind of sexist behavior that Obama depended on during the campaign. Obama wasn't there but his lack of guidance was a deliberate action. Obama is very smart and he knew this kind of thing was going on in his followers, as a general pattern. And he used it.

    A nasty campaign by using people.

    Always question your leaders.

    December 6, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. florella broyles

    what a little puke he is .i thought he was sopposed to have brains?.

    December 6, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Nicholas

    Though no human is a saint but such act is nasty to have arround Obama. I will excuse his youthfulness. Please grow up if this is real.

    Nicholas

    December 6, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Brielle

    Let's be real–this kind of stuff occurs at all ages. Young professionals are just more likely to have it caught on camera and put on Facebook than older professionals. Was it wrong and sexist? Of course. Should it end his career? No. We have too much to worry about in this country, to let ourselves get caught up in stupid antics. Even though he exhibited poor judgment in that moment, it doesn't mean he's any less capable of being a great speech writer. The humiliation and ridicule he'll get is enough of a lesson for him to never do that again. Just let the kid get on with his career.

    December 6, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. sam

    Somebody so infantile should not have any position with the POTUS. He needs to go back to the fraternity house and live with the other party animals. I can't believe Obama would abide this behavior and if he does, well, that tells us something,doesn't it?

    December 6, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Patrick in Toronto

    Its funny, its harmless, who cares!

    December 6, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Jason in Juneau

    We've all done some stuff that we probably shoundn't have, maybe with mocking our bosses or trashing a co-worker. However, with technology today it can get out in the open in a matter of seconds. I'm sure he's sorry but that looks like a nice get together he was at.

    December 6, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. Interested

    Why Should Obama even consider letting him go?

    Are you by any means trying to imply that everyone is perfect? Most people have done a stupid thing or two under the influence of alcohol.

    Also, if Clinton does not show any anger at this photos, then who are we to call the shots on it.

    Gosh! I really do not get what goes on in some peoples' heads. If each and every slightly stupid action of someone in public office was to be met with losing their jobs, then trust me, there will not be a hand full of people working in the US government.

    We all have skeletons in our closets.

    Live with it!!!

    December 6, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. 27 in kansas

    I think this probably an age thing. I think most people in there twenty's would probably find this as funny. Seriously it's a cardboard cutout at a someone's house. Dumb judgment to let that be photographed but it was obviously meant as a joke in a private setting.

    December 6, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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