President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union speech has been coming together, draft by draft, much of it springing from the mind of a quick-witted 33-year-old with a below-ground West Wing office, an above-average thirst for caffeine and a passion for the 1985 Chicago Bears.
Director of Speechwriting Cody Keenan is known to fuel his long hours with “red eyes” — large drip coffees with a shot of espresso for extra kick. Recently, White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri made him a batch of her “energy cookies” — described by someone who has had them as “mini power bars.”
He’s no Raymond Price — the long-ago speechwriter for Richard Nixon who famously wrote the first draft of the 1970 State of the Union on a sleepless three-day blitz powered by “greenies,” amphetamines prescribed by the White House doctor. Instead, in the wee hours, Keenan can make himself a cup of coffee with a Keurig machine given to him by the National Security staff.
The big themes of Obama’sRead More »from How an Obama State of the Union speech is born