president barack obama’s speech on economic policy wednesday will be the first in an ambitious series of six addresses laying out a sweeping vision for america’s future. the philosophy at the core of the campaign will be familiar, but there will be “aggressive new ideas.”
that’s according to cody keenan, the speechwriter in charge of crafting what may be obama’s most far-reaching second-term effort to get americans to sign on to his plans.
keenan sat down with yahoo news for an exclusive interview in his office in the basement of the west wing, a windowless space with a ceiling so low that the president’s head brushes it when he pays a visit. the walls are covered in political memorabilia, and the famous “bikini graph” on his desk sits next to a can of red bull.
keenan, who at 32 holds the lofty title of director of speechwriting, pulled the curtain back on the process of writing a major presidential address. he also described how mike ditka could have kept obama from reaching the white house, and what happens if you argue with the president about what he should say — and win.
obama’s six speeches will cover education, housing, retirement security, health care, poverty and jobs, keenan said, lightly tapping a cup of black, unsweetened iced coffee on his desk.