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. Funny Pic from DC

    It's a stupid picture, but I think too many people are overreacting. He knew it wasn't a good idea since he tried to remove it from the website. People need to just let it go, and as the facebook generation gets older, more of these things should be expected.

    December 6, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. trisha2

    i don't care that he's doing this sort of thing.

    actually, it makes me laugh because this makes Obama look like a complete fool. this is who penned his famous words? brilliant. it totally delegitimizes his speeches as being awe inspiring, heartfelt, whatever. because of the ghostwriter. amazing.

    December 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. j in mich

    considering jon knew he was in a position to be scrutinized by the public, that was a dumb move; however, seeing so much of the public pretend to be absolutely offended by his goofy behavior probably made it all worthwhile

    December 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. HCCrusader

    I love the people criticizing Jon. It must be absolutely surreal to be perfect, no? With everything going on in the world, I'm thrilled that this is making headlines. And no, I'm not a Democrat, I'm a Republican.

    December 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Sasha

    I'm confused by all the posts basically claiming "that's what happens at guys' night out." Do you not see the girls in the photo? This wasn't guys night out that got out of hand. This was Jon being Jon. This is obviously who he is, and this is obviously what he thinks is funny. Which is no problem if you're just some shmuck in middle America, or my husband, or your son, or the crazy guy at the party last week at the neighbor's house. However, this isn't just some nobody; this is a person with a high-level job in the White House, working side-by-side with the President of the United States. That kind of guy needs to be taken more seriously than this. Obama can find someone who writes great speeches AND has outgrown his college diapers. he needs to set an example and clean up his own house before he cleans up the White House. (FYI – I voted for, campaigned for, and contributed to Obama every step of the way!)

    December 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. PJ

    He lacks the judgement to be a speechwriter for the President of the United States. There was a very good point made about whether the "boys will be boys" reaction would be the same if it was a cardboard cutout of Michelle Obama. Disrespecting Senator Clinton is acceptable apparently but would it be acceptable to disrespect Mrs. Obama in this way and still work for the POTUS? Don't think so....

    December 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Andrew

    umm.. why is this news? The media sure is picking some top notch stories to cover.

    December 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. mary

    oh gosh. he was just joking around. he apologized... sure he wasn't thinking in advance that it might come back to haunt him. but there are worse things the could've done. if he can do his job that's what is important. not everyone can be a stick in the mud.

    December 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. Hey Obama,

    This guy needs to go. Right now.

    I don't want my tax dollars paying for this guy to exist.

    December 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. CSU Obama and Clinton Supporter

    People make mistakes and this was sure a stupid one. However, this should not ruin his career. Some disciplinary measures should be taken but they should not be his resignation, nor admittance to the State Department. The kid obviously has some talent and this one act should not jeopardize him using that talent.

    December 6, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Bob

    With everything Hillary has been through with good ol' Bill, I'm really not surprised that she's not taking this too seriously.

    Maybe all of you could learn a thing or two about lightening up.

    December 6, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. D

    lol @ all the holier then thou comments and people getting all up in arms about it. Way to blow things WAYYYY out of proportion. Its pretty clear it was done as a joke at a party and no harm was meant at all. Have you no sense of humor?

    December 6, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. nidia

    I am an Obama supporter and not a big fan of Hillary... not happy at all she got the position she has now. BUT we should put an 'EX' before 'speech writer of Obama'. I also disagree with some comments above indicating Jon is ONLY 27...not 37! Well, maybe he should apply for the same job at 37 then! At a time when the many people have lost their jobs, I am sure better behaving people are waiting to take over. Fire him!

    December 6, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Steve


    December 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. petena

    Stupid move on his part. I hope he does not get a highly appointed position untl he grows up. He needs to learn his lesson. silly boy

    December 6, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Lyndsey

    Clearly his speech writing skills overshadow his photo etiquette. Obama was elected, right? He's 27, calm down. I don't understand why the people who comment on this story are more offended than Hillary Clinton seems to be. Maybe bitter Republicans are trying to validate their point that Obama will exhibit poor judgment when executing presidential appointments? Who knows. Seriously, lighten up. Anyway, I thought it was kind of funny...

    December 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  17. Mike

    Honestly, I must opine on the side of those have labeled this "no big deal." Much of what is wrong with our country is that we have lost our collective sense of humor. I had a very responsible and very public position at 27. There was no internet back then, but if there had been, I might have been just as goofy as this young man. I've certainly done and said some very politically incorrect things, usually in an effort to be funny, without meaning to be disrespectful of or to anyone. Cut your fellow Americans some slack!

    December 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Will

    Typical lib democrat, the funny thing is how those libs here who are supporting this idiot would be foaming at the mouth if he were a republican.

    Oh yeah, America is gonna be reminded of what it truly means to be a liberal Democrat, keep em comin!!!

    December 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Dixie

    Ms Brown,
    You really like to stir, don't you? You defend Palin and her wardrobe, then rip Hillary because you feel offended. Hillary is mucho smart. She can take care of herself. You are mostly all bias and bull.

    December 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. Ms. Smith

    To all you "get a grip types", grow up. The young "men" in the photo were doing what young dunken men do - acting like idiots. Fine! But, we need no more idiots in Washington, let alone in the White House, than we already have. I say – send the "young man" to the pavement looking for a more appropriate line of work than writing speeches for our next President.

    December 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Naena Rodriguez

    As a woman, I am just disappointed by what Jon did. Yes, it was childish and too bad it was caught on film. What does shock and horrify me is how many of you responded with an understanding of "what do you expect when a man is young and drinking?" That flawed thinking of putting blame on age and alcohol/drugs has allowed a lot of people to commit terrible crimes and only be mildly punished for them. A good time can be had by all, indiscretions made by many but we should never, ever remove a person's responsibility for their actions by blaming age, gender or alcohol.

    December 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Listen people.

    This isn't just a guy who is young and having fun.

    He's been given a huge role in shaping the image of our country.

    He needs to go. Now.

    He's also not a frat boy anymore. He's 27.

    If he wants a huge job like Director of Speechwriting, he needs to grow up.

    Also, for anyone who says this doesn't hurt our country, it does. It shows that even those at the very top think it's okay to keep putting women "in their place."

    As taxpayers and voters, we are Obama's employer. I want him fired.

    December 6, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  23. Ease up

    I think all of you need to get off of your high horses. Ease up a little bit. Everything in this country is overanalyzed and blown way out of proportion.

    December 6, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. Carol

    You have to be very careful what you do these days and that is a fact.
    People will do anything for money so "careful" is the word for the day and that is a fact.
    He should have grown up way before he did such a childish thing but now a days the people that are 27 is the same as 17 year old. Men for the most part don't grow-up until they are in their thirty's or fourty's and that is a fact. Nothing surprises me NOTHING.
    He writes such important speeches that everyone hangs on and those are the ages he writes for full of things that sound great but is impossible to do and that is a fact.

    December 6, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  25. mark

    i can't believe people get so worked up over this

    December 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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