December 6th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
5 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. catmom

    Oh, people get a grip!! You all will take anything and turn it around and make it something negative as long as you can blame Obama for something. In the grand scheme of things this is unimportant. Bad taste but all in fun. Don't make something big out of someone being stupid. Stop turning everything into sexism or racism. As if people don't do stupid things. Has this antic harmed the American people? I think not. What you all should be concerned with is what is the President, the current President doing about the economy and all the jobs being lost.

    December 6, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Gene

    You know.. this exact same thing was done on th movie "Major League"... I didn't hear anyone protesting or screaming sexism, banning the movie, etc...

    This is stuff young guys do.. or at least young guys who aren't social recluses.

    December 6, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. EMW

    Come on-the woman was publicly humiliated by her husband many times–Monica, Genifer, probably many more. What's a hand on a boob at this point. I mean people don't actually take her seriously, do they?

    December 6, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Old white lady in b'ham al

    For christ's sake this is a kid at a party. Looks like they were having a good time. Wish I was there. EVeryone go take a pill and calm down.

    December 6, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Jonathan

    May I say that almost every young person in this country has had or still has a Facebook account. Things like this are posted on Facebook sometimes, there's really no getting around it. Some people will say "well, it just demonstrates really bad judgement." That's pretty comical, because I would surmise that those same people have exhibited really bad judgement in their life at some point or another. There may not be photographic or video evidence, but I am sure they have. Bottom line – once people 30 and under become those who are 50 and under or 60 and under, this kind of stuff just will not matter anymore. Nor should it. No human being on this planet is perfect and I think that our society has gotten a little out of control in attempting to tear people down due to "lack of judgement." Thankfully, that will change. I mean, seriously, is there ANYONE who hasn't done something in their life that would disqualify them from the Presidency due to our stringent standards? Probably not.

    December 6, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. fun isn't illegal

    Can someone, anyone, please tell me how this is sexist? I'm 21 years old, in college and appreciate a few beers with friends and silly pictures, I can't wait to see some one the ones I took last night. In fact I have one somewhere very similar to this of me kissing Wendell, the Miller High Life man. Wendell is African-American, so does that make me racist? I sure don't think so, I was just having harmless fun. What I'm saying is, if sexism is being discriminatory towards someone based on their gender how would this be included? There is no doubt on my mind this guy would likely kiss a Bill Clinton cut just the same. What is the difference, who is he hurting, why is everyone so self-righteous, and what is so wrong with being happy??

    December 6, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Diana Ewing NJ

    Calypso ,

    Most things on facebook, myspace are disrespectful and Hillary deserves more. respect than that...... BUT PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME... HOW YOU BLAME OBAMA AND HIS SUPPORTERS FOR THIS???

    Take that bone you are chewing and burry it in the yard where it belongs...

    December 6, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. Matt B

    OMG! He's a 27 year old human male!!! Could you please just let the guy have a little fun?

    December 6, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. suffering with peter-pan complex

    Anyone full of yourselves with your so-called "high ideals", need to chill and take a timout! Apparently Hillary isn't as full of herself as some of you are. This is what happens sometimes when youngmen get together and have one too many "light-beers."

    If Favreau could drink as well as he can write, he wouldn't be held up to scrutiny by this silly and foolish act of overexuberant youth. But, yes it's time fro Favreau to growup at bit.

    "A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her." —W.C. Fields :)

    December 6, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Blikmik

    Mrs Clinton, not getting mad, shows a great amount of character. Why should something as childish as this become a big deal. After all, Mrs Clinton did not blow her cool over the Lewinsky scandal, why should this bothe her. After all, she had all right to lash out at the little intern and did.

    WARNING: Off collor joke coming!!!! Look at it this way, Mr Clinton had his tart of an intern so why not let Mrs Clinton have the speach writer. LoL!

    December 6, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Fabian

    I think some people are being to sensitive here. During the primaries, a lot of unthical deeds took place on both sides. Remember Clinton's campaign releasing Obama's picture in tribal costume when he was visiting Kenya? If he can get over that and offer a prominent position to the person who was trying to portray him as muslim, then this facebook photo should not be a big deal. We also don't know what Clinton campaign staff did say about Obama behind closed doors. I am sure if they came out, that facebook photo would be nothing. Let's move on and support our new administration. The speech writer deserves a second chance.

    December 6, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Educated Realist

    It seems that there are two negative opinions being expressed by people here. One is the sexiest stance and other maturity stance. First, I will address the sexiest stance. He is in no way shape or form disrespecting Senator Clinton. The item that he is touching is only a cardboard cut out. It is an object that he is touching and not her to those that say he is objectifying her. You people are no better than the US response during the era of the Red Scare, claiming people to be what they are not. If that was what he is doing then, he would have to feel that way and express in various forms, which is not true. The second issue is that of maturity. People need to realize that actions are compatible with situation or environment. The environment of this picture is at party. This is typical behavior at a party whether you are you are 50 years old or 22 years old. This always has to keep in mind the type of party. Obviously this is party with small group of people, not party for function. It is personal format. An example would be of woman walking around in her panties and bra. Most people would find that offensive. Now imagine same person at beach with two bikini that exposes even more skin then the bra and panties, but its not viewed as disrespectful because it in proper environment. People need to spend time judging their own personal action then worrying about others. He has a job and as long as it is performed properly , then on his free time he allowed to do as he wishes. There is a time and place for everything and he clearly know when and where to act. I would agree differently if it was somewhere in open public function. This is America or is it not? freedom is always top priority!!!

    December 6, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. rachel

    If Hillary lets it slide great but replace Hillary and put michelle in that picture and what you all be saying? There would be protests on washington and Obama would be saying they disrespected his wife.

    December 6, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. just dallas

    well from reading most of your response its seems that if your in politics you can't be normal .that was an all american image of guys in there twenties drunk at a party. this was good ol fashion boys will be boys and somethings still warrant the brush off as CLinton clearly gave it. I'm sure going forward the young man will adjust himself accordingly.

    December 6, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. ......

    let the person who not been drunk before, cast the first stone.

    December 6, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. Larry

    My post are ,for the most part, awaiting moderation,is that because I am far to witty for the average person here ,and you don't think they can comprehend what I'm saying,or are the moderators just bias ??

    December 6, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. Kathryn

    He didn't post the picture on Facebook, the person who took it did.

    December 6, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    R O F L M A O

    December 6, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. bennyhanamaui

    No-bama's world leading messianic prophesies are being penned by a 27 year old frat boy??? I know the Cintonites were neophites when they took over but this is appalling behavior for the so-called serious leader of the universe. This indicates the party is on in The West Wing. I bet PDiddy & FittyCent already have their invites to sleepover with Oprah & Whoopi G. The Cristal will be flowing with this brutha in The Big House!!! I beez gettin' my EBONICS goin' so I can chill wit DA PREZ mannnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YO.

    December 6, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Raul Dominguez

    I know it was stupid and shows immaturity on his part, but obviously he is a great speechwriter. I think now he needs to do some time writing a 1000 Bart Simpson type Chalkboard apologies for Senator Clinton!!!! "I'm sorry for making idiotic Facebook material of Senator Clinton." for example!!!! Look, if you act like a schoolboy idiot, do the time!!!!

    December 6, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. tony in nm

    a little youthful sexiness never hurt

    December 6, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. Keith

    I am horrified and deeply offended by his lack of judgement here. He has objectified cardboard cutouts everywhere and it's clear he treats pictures of women like pieces of paper. Have you no shame, sir? I hope you get a paper cut.

    Lighten up, people. The cardboard cutout didn't mind. The lady in the picture on the cardboard cutout found it amusing. Yes, Jon made a fool of himself at a private party and a picture was taken. Big deal. Are we pretending that he's the only person to do something foolish in his 20's?

    Jon, if you're out there and listening, you've done excellent work, and we're very proud of you. Oh, and you can have your way with my picture any time, and I promise I won't post pictures of you on the Internet. Maybe next time you get your friends to promise that too?

    December 6, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Sue in MI

    I think he should not be the "future White House director" of anything...send him back to his hut. There are many more qualified and mature people out there just itching for a chance.
    I doubt that age is a factor. Look at the lewd behavior of Larry Craig, Newt, Clinton, John Edwards, and on and on, and they were all older than this guy. The problem is that we condone such childishness, drinking, and rudeness. We condone it, and act surprised and indignant when it happens. When you don't respect women, you basically don't respect yourself or anyone else.

    December 6, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. comeonnow

    Everyone is right that this is not as impacting as the failing economy, millions of home foreclosures, a terrible war or a worsening environment, but that does not mean it is not worth our consideration. Last time I checked, we are capable of thinking about many things at once and even though you may not find this a priority we must all confront acts of sexism, large or small, and disapprove. Take as little or much time as you want disapproving of this incident but I am surprised and saddened that ANY time was spent minimizing this guy's disrespect and immaturity. Get rid of him and move on to the next talented writer. This is a time for great change and improvement in our country and the administration that has promised great things should not have backwards thinkers like this on their team. Grow up frat boy, Americans are going to lead the way on this issue by not standing for this kind of sexist and disrespectful behavior anymore! Right???

    December 6, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. Mike

    I'm a big Obama supporter. But this guy should resign. Small error but not the kind of cluelessness or image we need. Harmless, but ready to put 8 years of buffoonery behind us. Let's not say "he's only 27" if he is about to become the director of speechwriting for the leader of the free world. Isn't his whole role about image? I'm a Hillary fan too and did not think Obama's camp was responsible for as much of the sexism that she faced by media, but this is his own team now.

    December 6, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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