“Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years” by David Litt— A Different Kind of Memoir

Litt, David. “Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years”, Ecco, 2017.

A Different Kind of Memoir

Amos Lassen

David Litt was a speechwriter for President Barack Obama and shares his experiences during that time. He was one of the youngest White House speechwriters in history. Along with remarks on issues like climate change and criminal justice reform and was responsible for some of President Obama’s most memorable moments. He takes us back to the eight years he spent working for the President in this political coming-of-age story.

Did you ever wonder about the bathrooms of the White House or what kind of social scene exists on Air Force One? You probably didn’t but now you will know anyway. Litt also looks at Obama’s legacy and future. It certainly seemed to be a saner time back then and we respected the office of the President unlike today when we have a President who probably does not even know the definition of the word.

Litt’s wit is razor sharp but never mean. It fact it is filled with wisdom, love and respect. In his writing we see that the fruit of Obama’s harvest is in the way he galvanized both his staff and his country. Obama was a president who really cared about others. Litt came into the White House in 2011 and for five years he was a special assistant to the president and senior presidential speechwriter. He was the lead writer on four White House Correspondents’ Dinner presentations and has contributed jokes to President Obama’s speeches since 2009. At age twenty-four, he became one of the youngest speechwriters in White House history, rising to President Obama’s senior staff by 2016. Not only did he write remarks on issues from immigration to criminal justice reform, Litt was the president’s special comedy writer and is responsible for some of President Obama’s most memorable comedic moments.

We read of the wonderful highs of the administration as well as of the demoralizing lows. Litt gives us some new information on some of Obama’s most historic events such as the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the Charleston shooting, and more. He helps us understand our broken politics with insight. He has seen some ludicrous moments and he has faced frustrations that he shares with us proving that the greatest calling is public service. As difficult it is to see, especially now, government can do some good for its constituents.

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