He remained out of the public eye until January 2013, when he was tapped to help write Obama's speech following a mass shooting in Tuscon, Arizona.Acclaim for the president's emotional remarks drew questions about the staffer who had a hand in drafting it.“You can say what you will about the first same-sex marriage at the White House, at the very least, it was quite rude.”“They kissed modestly,” he continued.
Keenan has been chief speechwriter since 2012, when his predecessor, Jon Favreau, left the White House to write television scripts.
While all speechwriters strive for anonymity, Favreau became known for his ability to capture big, sweeping themes for Obama while Keenan, in contrast, has earned a reputation for a more more earthy approach, invoking the daily struggles of ordinary Americans.
He's been described as a Springsteen to Favreau's Beethoven.
"My general rule is, If you wouldn't say that to a friend in a bar, don't make me put it in a speech," he told graduates of New York University's Graduate School of Public Service last spring.
He jokes that he'll keep growing it until the Cubs, an off-season favorite to win the World Series, actually pull it off.
In reality, he's got a more important date in mind — his pending wedding to Kristen Bartoloni, a White House researcher, who's already given him a gift certificate for a straight-razor shave.
This speechwriter has been spotted at Georgetown’s G2 Lounge, the French ambassador’s residence and many hot spots around town. In a story reported by The New York Times, when the White Sox swept the Red Sox in the 2005 division series, Obama walked over to Favreau’s desk and began to sweep it with a little broom.
But he also knows where to go for some quiet time: Look for him at Starbucks, where he’s been known to spend his time turning phrases on Obama’s next oratory. During the 2004 presidential campaign, Favreau was listening to Obama practice his now-famous convention speech, when the young speechwriter interrupted him and said he might consider rewriting a repetitive line.
11, 2016 Cody Keenan started his political career in a windowless office in Washington. He tends to pull all-nighters for such big speeches, which reminds him of graduate school.
This time, however, his professor is the world's most powerful man — and a celebrated writer himself. "An equal mix of hope and fear," Keenan, 35, told NBC News, describing the moment he starts working on a first draft.
s Aspen Ideas festival, former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett shared a story about how, years before gay marriage would become legal nationwide, he secretly performed a same-sex marriage at the White House.s frowned upon.”Lovett, who also previously served as Hillary Clinton’s speechwriter during her time in the Senate as well as her first presidential campaign, worked for President Obama for three years before leaving Washington for Hollywood in 2011.