Obama’s Speechwriter on Reaching Out, Advice From Peggy Noonan

CHICAGO—Jon Favreau, Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter, said that if Obama wins tonight he will deliver an address that seizes the “first opportunity for most of the country and the world to look at him as bigger than a party and as a president” and emphasize a broad message of “reaching out” across traditional divisions.

Favreau, who I bumped into downstairs from Obama headquarters, and who said there was little to do now besides “sit down and freak out all day,” said a victory speech would feature the candidate “reaching out” to “work with everyone” whether they supported him or not.

Favreau said that Obama would also “take a second or two to enjoy the America” he has gotten to know over the last two years.

As for the concession speech, which Favreau and some other members of the writing team were also working on, he was less willing to chat about it.

Favreau also said that he and some other campaign staff called Peggy Noonan, who was Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter, to chat. According to Favreau, Noonan said that if the Obama writers still loved their candidate after a long arduous campaign, as her team adored Reagan after his campaign, it was a very good sign.

Obama’s Speechwriter on Reaching Out, Advice From Peggy Noonan