White House Speechwriter Leaving for Hollywood



Word broke today that Barack Obama's funniest speechwriter Jon Lovett -- performing above at the Washington Improv (giving an impeccable impersonation of Arianna Huffington) and who along with lead Obama wordsmith, Jon Favreau, was the genius this year behind President Obama's Trump-stirring White House Correspondent's Dinner speech -- will be leaving DC to write funny stuff for Hollywood.  Watch out 30 Rock.

jon lovett.jpgI've been studying Lovett from a safe distance for a while -- and he reminds me of my pal Darren Star who never wrote speeches -- but was from Potomac, Maryland before he began defining for the Beverly Hills and Melrose crowds how they lived better than they could ever tell. 

Darren, you should meet Lovett quick -- before one of those more humor-needy producers get him.

Two big immediate consequences from Lovett's departure though -- well three actually. 

The first, which I nearly forgot, is that I will probably not succeed now in getting Lovett and Favreau to headline the opening dinner chat for the Washington Ideas Forum organized by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute on how they sew lots of chuckles and well delivered punchlines into vast political blandness.  Will still give it a try -- and maybe a ticket back from LA?

vietor.jpgThe second is that Barack Obama is losing his only gay speechwriter.  Yes, I've said it now -- GAY.  None of the reports -- none -- no one who has written or blogged about Lovett's big news has shared anything of his gay sizzle and fabulousness.  Jon Lovett is not shy at all about this -- and frankly, I think it's been inspiring and important to have a brilliant gay speechwriter among the other half dozen or so other young future Ted Sorensen's.  This is sort of like writing a tribute to Gore Vidal without mentioning that his groundbreaking novel, The City and the Pillar, was a 'gay' novel.

OK, done with that.   

Third, the handsome-but-not-gay Tommy Vietor (sorry guys) now needs a roommate.  (Tommy is the guy pictured on the left.)

Vietor and Jon Lovett have been sharing a flat this past year, or were last I checked in, and that means Vietor will probably need a new roomie unless President Obama is giving his National Security Spokesman a raise -- and given the debt ceiling fiasco, I somehow doubt that.

Congratulations Jon Lovett -- though I just can't imagine Barack Obama being funny without you.

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Steve Clemons is Washington editor at large for The Atlantic and editor of Atlantic Live. He writes frequently about politics and foreign affairs. More

Clemons is a senior fellow and the founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a centrist think tank in Washington, D.C., where he previously served as executive vice president. He writes and speaks frequently about the D.C. political scene, foreign policy, and national security issues, as well as domestic and global economic-policy challenges.

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