As President Barack Obama delivered his third State of the Union speech Tuesday night, he used words penned by a 30-year-old who has deep Manchester roots.

Jon Favreau, whose grandfather, Robert, was a New Hampshire state legislator and whose uncle, Peter, is a former Manchester police chief, has served as Obama's speechwriter since November 2004.

His father, Mark, a Trinity High School graduate, was in Washington Tuesday night with his son to watch the speech, Peter Favreau said.

“It's surreal,” Peter said of his nephew's work with the President. “It always has been and it always will be.”

Jon Favreau started in politics by working as a college intern in Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's Washington office in 2002. Upon graduation, he joined Kerry's 2004 White House campaign; within a few months he was promoted to deputy speechwriter.

His meteoric rise began with a fateful encounter at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. The speeches of Democratic nominee Kerry and keynote speaker Obama, then a first-term U.S. senator from Illinois, contained overlapping material, so the Kerry campaign sent Jon to resolve the matter with the Illinois senator.

Although Kerry used the material in question, Obama's convention speech marked him for national political stardom.

Hired as Obama's lone speechwriter that November, Jon began co-writing rhetoric that four years later would help propel Obama into the Oval Office.

Peter Favreau said the family continues to be proud of Jon.

“Are you kidding me? The kid's a genius,” he said.

Saturday, October 19, 2019