Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years

Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years Remember when presidents spoke in complete sentences instead of in unhinged tweets David Litt does In his comic, coming of age memoir, he takes us back to the Obama years and charts a path forward in the age of TrumpMore than any other presidency, Barack Obama s eight years in the White House were defined by young people twenty somethings who didn t have much experience in politics or anything else, for that matter , yet suddenly found themselves in the most high stakes office building on earth David Litt was one of those twenty somethings After graduating from college in , he went straight to the Obama campaign In , he became one of the youngest White House speechwriters in history Until leaving the White House in , he wrote on topics from healthcare to climate change to criminal justice reform As President Obama s go to comedy writer, he also took the lead on the White House Correspondents Dinner, the so called State of the Union of jokes Now, in this refreshingly honest memoir, Litt brings us inside Obamaworld With a humorists eye for detail, he describes what it s like to accidentally trigger an international incident or nearly set a president s hair aflame He answers questions you never knew you had Which White House men s room is the classiest What do you do when the commander in chief gets your name wrong Where should you never, under any circumstances, change clothes on Air Force One With nearly a decade of stories to tell, Litt makes clear that politics is completely, hopelessly absurd But it s also important For all the moments of chaos, frustration, and yes, disillusionment, Litt remains a believer in the words that first drew him to the Obama campaign People who love this country can change it In telling his own story, Litt sheds fresh light on his former boss s legacy And he argues that, despite the current political climate, the politics championed by Barack Obama will outlive the presidency of Donald TrumpFull of hilarious stories and told in a truly original voice, Thanks, Obama is an exciting debut about what it means personally, professionally, and politically to grow up I enjoyed this book, but maybe not as much as I had hoped David Litt was a low level speechwriter for the Obama administration, at first just writing jokes and relatively unimportant speeches, but he worked his way up to writing the speeches for the Correspondents Dinner and some very consequential occasions He has a very self deprecating way of writing, although at times he comes off as a bit of a jerk how many times can he borrow his roommate s car without permission He shares the frus I enjoyed this book, but maybe not as much as I had hoped David Litt was a low level speechwriter for the Obama administration, at first just writing jokes and relatively unimportant speeches, but he worked his way up to writing the speeches for the Correspondents Dinner and some very consequential occasions He has a very self deprecating way of writing, although at times he comes off as a bit of a jerk how many times can he borrow his roommate s car without permission He shares the frustrations and the highs that go along with such a high pressure job He started off very insecure about his ability to actually do the job and ended up a very confident speechwriter This book is like getting a backstage pass to the White House You get a glimpse of how things are done and what it s like to work there It s not all glamour President Obama is portrayed as being very human, the responsibilities of the office weighing heavy on his shoulders, but still being able to make jokes He does not suffer fools gladly, but he is a gentleman In the beginning of the book, I got a little tired of Litt s constant snark, but eventually I got used to it It made him seem just a little too full of himself, even when he was trying to seem humble He toned the snark down quite a bit later in the book as he was describing how hard they were working to establish Obama s legacy Probably the best passages are when he is describing when President Obama spoke at the church in Charleston and sang Amazing Grace, and when the SCOTUS affirmed the ACA again and legalized same sex marriage All in one week In less than two days, Barack Obama had secured his place in history No, the problems he faced were not solved forever The Affordable Care Act was still under attack Race was still a fault line Discrimination against LGBT Americans remained far too real But for now I lived in a country where health care was a right and not a privilege where you could marry who you loved where a black president could go to the heart of the old Confederacy and take us all, every color and creed, to church This paragraph alone is worth any flaws that the book may have A definite recommend I did not mean to rate my own book and I can t figure how to unrate it I do think it deserves five stars, but I mean really, wouldn t it be weird if I didn t Listen up, all you who suffer from Trump Overload Syndrome this book is for you Applied in small doses, it is guaranteed to bring relief, for it allows you to imagine a universe in which Obama is still president and all is right almost with the world.Such fantasies are unhealthy, you say We all live in Trumpworld now, you say And Denial is not a river in Egypt But if this is indeed Trumpworld, a place where Nambia has been proclaimed by our president to be a country in Africa, then ho Listen up, all you who suffer from Trump Overload Syndrome this book is for you Applied in small doses, it is guaranteed to bring relief, for it allows you to imagine a universe in which Obama is still president and all is right almost with the world.Such fantasies are unhealthy, you say We all live in Trumpworld now, you say And Denial is not a river in Egypt But if this is indeed Trumpworld, a place where Nambia has been proclaimed by our president to be a country in Africa, then how do you know for sure that Denial is not a river in Egypt And if it be a river, I can think of nocharming vessel with which to navigate its tranquil waters than Thanks, Obama My Hopey, Changey White House Years by David Litt.Who is David Litt An Obama speech writer Not the premier Obama speech writer who wrote the first inaugural and the A More Perfect Union Speech that would be Jon Favreau , but one who specialized in his funnier speeches Not Obama s most famous funny speech, the Correspondent s Dinner speech in 2011 where he humiliated Donald Trump that would be Jon Lovett , but most of the later funny speeches, after Lovett left for Hollywood My favorite Obama joke of his comes from the Romney campaign period, when the Republicans were ridiculing Obama for having eaten dog when he was a boy in Indonesia What s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull A pit bull is delicious But it wasn t all funny speeches and presidential debate zingers He wrote a lot of serious speeches too.In Thanks, Obama, Litt in his deprecatory, amusing fashion tells of his early days as a starry eyed Obamabot on the campaign trail, of his speech writing apprenticeship in the first term, and of his emergence as an accomplished craftsman in the second term His perfect speech was one Obama delivered to the NAACP on criminal justice reform a week after the Charleston shootings Any system that allows us to turn a blind eye to hopelessness and despair, that s not a justice system, it s an injustice system Of course, one of the good things about the book is that Litt gives usthan a few glimpses of the president himself We see him as a thorough professional, demanding the best of himself and others He can be distant, and critical, at times, but he is also a man who is collegial, forgiving, and gifted with a fine sense of humor.Here s a little glimpse of POTUS and an observation by Litt that reminds us of how un Trumplike our last president was The joke that most worried me involved the political landscape postcampaign One thing Republicans can all agree on after 2012 is that they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities, the script read Call me self centered, but I can think of one minority they could start with It was the kind of line we never would have written in the first term No one could remember POTUS referring to himself as a minority before But with the reelect behind him, President Obama was eager to push the envelope That s pretty good, he chuckled Just as he did a year earlier, when the subject was eating pit bulls, he even promised a personal touch.I might add a little wave there Maybe a hello, or something How strange There I was, sick with nervousness, and POTUS was having fun.While I doubt President Obama looked forward to spending his Saturday night with the press corp, I always got the sense he enjoyed reading jokes Unlike most politicians, President Obama missed being treated like a normal person I once overheard him say that this why why he loved meeting babies they had no idea who he was. Kudos to this kid There are so many ways this book could have gone wrong overly snarky, carelessly written, or just too obliviously steeped in white Ivy League dude privilege Instead, everything went exactly right, in my opinion I ve got some background in political campaigns political office myself, and even now yes, even now I still have a high level of idealism I genuinely believe some elected officials truly want to make the world a better place, and I celebrate their victories and s Kudos to this kid There are so many ways this book could have gone wrong overly snarky, carelessly written, or just too obliviously steeped in white Ivy League dude privilege Instead, everything went exactly right, in my opinion I ve got some background in political campaigns political office myself, and even now yes, even now I still have a high level of idealism I genuinely believe some elected officials truly want to make the world a better place, and I celebrate their victories and sometimes take their defeats too personally David Litt understands and portrays those feelings very well, and when he talks about the moments when his idealism was brought back down to earth, I understood that feeling as well.Beyond that, Thanks, Obama is very well written and articulate there s nothing lazy or phoned in here, which I guess makes sense given how tirelessly speechwriters are used to working to get something right It s a fantastic way to get up to speed on the big issues of the Obama administration and how they were handled or not by Congress, if that s something you still need clarity on And it s funny David Litt now works for Funny or Die, that s how funny he is Really funny.I thought it would be depressing to read about the Obama administration given the trainwreck we currently have in office, but the tone of this book is exactly right realistic but still hopeful If you need an antidote to the vast quantities of nonsense we re now dealing with here in the U.S., I can t recommend anything better than Thanks, Obama

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