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. rich

    In the days before the internet, television, and photography, do you really think people involved in politics were paragons of polite behavior? Did none of them drink, carouse, and act like idiots occasionally? Of course they did. What this picture proves is not that Mr. Favreau (whom I thought was an actor and filmmaker–who knew? :P) is unfit to be a presidential speechwriter. Rather, it proves that the Facebookification (copyright me 2008) of our lives needs to be dialed back a notch. Newsflash to those of you who insist on blogging, tweeting, and Facebook-ing even the most mudane events of your life and the most inconsequential thoughts that pop into your heads: the rest of the world is frankly not on pins and needles waiting for your next post. As a corollary, the mundane details of someone else's life–even someone with a modicum of power and influence like a presidential speechwriter–are not anything any of us need to concern ourselves about. I rather wish the man hadn't apologized for having the audacity to have a good time in proximity to a digital camera. Obviously Hillary's camp's tongue-in-cheek response shows that they found the photo funny–because hey, guess what, it's FUNNY. And also completely harmless. So could everybody just take a deep breath, relax, drink a beer, grope your favorite cardboard cut-out, and get over it?

    December 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. TB

    If this man was a politician himself, I would expect him to be more aware. But he is a writer at a private party, and he should be able to have fun without worrying about these things. No harm was done. Let it go.

    December 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Jed

    Anybody that stupid about communications should not be allowed to serve in government.

    December 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Larry

    Fire Him-There are a lot of unemployed speechwriters to choose from.

    December 6, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Debby

    What a dope. I mean really it must have been a really dull party for them to have to be that juvenille.

    December 6, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Rob

    I have to wonder what people would be saying if this was Obama's wife instead of Hillary. The man who plays such an important role in shaping our nation's image, doesn't have the common sense to be a good steward of his own image. Get rid of him...now.

    December 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. Brad

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! LMAO! Where is his other hand?

    December 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. Christine kochmann

    As a woman, I find this extremely distasteful. But, he apologized, Hillary issued an comment that made me laugh, and it's time to move the heck on. He's 27, he was at a party, he drank, he did something stupid that did not physically hurt anyone, period. This country is falling apart at the seams right now – and I refuse to get outraged over trivial stuff like this when we have more pressing items on the agenda. And the comments of shear toxic screaming faux outrage that froth at the moth? Welcome PUMA's. All 20 of you. Sheesh, you're so transparent in your toxic hatred for President Elect Obama it's truly scary to see. I feel sorry for you guys. I really do. Your bitter seething hatred is really frightening.

    December 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. stunnedAustinite

    Hah! You're kidding, right?

    THAT'S the picture people are upset about?
    I'm sure celebrities that agree to have large cutout picture of themselves marketed must know that there are much more lewd things happening with thier images than this.

    What ever happened to newsworthy news?

    December 6, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Roberta

    Umm, did anyone bother to notice that Ms Clinton doesn't seem terribly bothered by this? If she's having a cow why would anyone else? It's just a young man being goofy.

    December 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. D

    Turning this into a sexism argument is pretty ridiculous, as is calling for him to be fired. Just how is he being sexist? its a JOKE done on a cardboard cutout. You people are reading far to much into it.

    December 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. Roberta

    Oops, I meant to say if Ms Clinton is not having a cow why would anyone else.

    December 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. nita in VA

    ok this may be a little inappropriate, but come on, it's funny. I am a woman over 30 and i guess i should be offended, but i'm not. If it were me, I would still think its funny. Tomorrow there will be something else everyone is talking about.

    December 6, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Edward

    I'm sure this means he's a total sexist and goes around grabbing older women's boobs and given them heinekens. He will also write speeches that will denegrade women and minorities as well as domestic beer.

    December 6, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. E>Dozois

    I am speechless to see that some one with brains the size of a pea
    is working for such an intelegant man as mr.Obama.

    December 6, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. willie

    I think it is time to change the name of Ms Browns commentary to lots of bias and all bull. Please focus your attention on important concerns, there are certainly lots of them. I use to thoroughly enjoy your commentary, now I am quickly becoming disenchanted. Please return to your original quality journalism and leave this kind of non-issue to the super market tabloids.

    December 6, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. Ms. Johnson, Pearland,Texas

    WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?? ONE MISJUDGEMENT DESTROYS AN ENTIRE LIFE OF A 27 YEAR OLD MAN. AS A 56 YEAR OLD BLACK FEMALE IF EVERYONE WAS FIRED FOR THINGS SAID OR ACTIONS TAKEN AGAINST ME AND OTHERS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NONE ENDING. IT WAS A PARTY, SILLY THINGS HAPPEN. HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE. PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA AND HIS WIFE HAVE BEEN CALLED EVERYTHING BUT CHILDREN OF GOD BY SOME PEOPLE IN HIGH AS WELL AS LOW PLACES. GET OVER IT!!!!!!

    December 6, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. Steve

    Picture is good or bad depending on your politics. If it was a republican then the dems would be mad, visa versa, oh the hypocrisy!

    December 6, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Matt, Chico, CA

    He didn't learn the perils of facebook. He learned the perils of being stupid.

    December 6, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. JD

    I am 41, but still feel young. Am I allowed to have the same kind of fun? I should have been more a bad boy when I was in my twenties...

    December 6, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Jay for Sac

    Umm......isn't this guy just a speech writer?? who gives a care what he does, he isn't even on the radar. THe guy writes speeches, thats it. CASE CLOSED.

    Now good day gents and ladies. Hmm that beer in his hands did look tasty though.

    December 6, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. Patty

    Anyone this juvenile does NOT deserve a job at this level of government. I still am unable to understand why they do and then why they photograph it???? They only regret it when they get CAUGHT!!!!!

    December 6, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Everyman

    Yet another fine example of the Obama team.

    December 6, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Frank

    This country is going down badly and fast when all these people refer to a 27 year old as a "kid"!!!! Wow, this nation is composed of idiots, arrogant bastards, and uneducated fools that think a 27 year old man is a kid that can behave in what ever way he wants! Lets face it, this is how our youth have become and this is how they lack respect for women including their mothers and sisters. Lets see how this guy would react if some guy was doing the same thing to a picture of his mother! Or perhaps he wouldn't care less. Lets see if Obama has two cents worth of dignity to throw this guy out with his tail between his legs!!!

    December 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. yellow dog democrat

    aaaccckk! boyz 2 men! same-o-same-o – nothing changes nothing stays the same!

    December 6, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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