Who Writes Obama's Speeches: Meet Cody Keenan


It seems that with the second term of President Obama's presidency, many key individuals have decided not to renew their employment contract. See: Steven Chu-Energy Secretary, Timothy Geitner-Treasury Secretary for examples. 

You can add Jon Favreau, the lead speechwriter for President Obama who has served 8 years in this position. The 31-year-old will leave the Oval Office and possibly try to make some headway in Hollywood as a screenwriter. Although, I'm not sure how Hollywood will fare with 2 Jon Favreau's....But I digress.  Cody Keenan is then bumped as the next-in-line for position as head-speechwriter.

According to a profile story in The Daily Beast, Cody started out as an intern for the Obama campaign in 2007 (and Chicago native) and made his way to junior speechwriter. As part of a 7-person speechwriting team, headed by Jon Favreau--the job is were very much "like graduate school. You get a paper assignment, you might pull an all-nighter or come in really early to finish, and you hand it in and then you get his marks back and find out whether he likes it or not.” 

Keenan is given credit as the main speechwriter for the 2011 Tucson speech after Gabby Giffords was shot. He also has worked for Ted Kennedy for 3 years and wrote the eulogy for Kennedy as well. 

Keenan graduated from Northwestern with a political science degree (after switching majors from pre-med/Chinese/international relations) and a master's degree from Kennedy School of Government (Harvard U) specializing in public policy. 

You can read more here.