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Obama speechwriter photographed groping Hillary Clinton likeness

President-elect Barack Obama's chief speechwriter Jon Favreau gropes a cardboard cutout of New York Senator Hillary Clinton as published in the Washington Post blog 44

Hi and welcome to the Windy City's Team Obama.

It might have seemed funny during the party. But a photo has surfaced in recent hours of President-elect Barack Obama's newly-designated chief speechwriter, Jon Favreau, groping a cardboard cutout of the administration's newly-designated secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

That's Favreau on the left in the above photo (the fellow in the Obama staff T-shirt pouring beer in the pretend politician's mouth is unidentified). The photo was first published on the Washington Post's 44 blog.

The shot of the 27-year-old writer with his hand on the 60-year-old cardboard senator's breast reportedly appeared for about two hours on a Facebook page Thursday afternoon before disappearing, along with numerous other Favreau pictures, including one of him dancing with the cardboard female secretary-designate.

An Obama spokesman says Favreau has apologized to the former first lady, who gave Obama a run for his massive piles of money during the Democratic primaries.

The transition official said Favreau has "reached out to Sen. Clinton to offer an apology," an unfortunate choice of words under the photographic circumstances, as the Swamp's Frank James points out in his item.

The embarrassing photo comes at the same time as Obama had re-issued an appeal to his supporters to make minimum $100 donations to Clinton's deceased campaign to help retire some $7 million of remaining debts, now that Clinton is on Obama's political team as its chief foreign affairs representative.

Wouldn't you like to be at that first White House Obama Cabinet meeting come January? One suspects Favreau might be too busy writing elsewhere to attend.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Facebook via Washington Post 44 blog

Comments () | Archives (85)

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This is hope we can believe in!
This is the "urgency of now"
"We are the ones we have been waiting for"

This is another sad reminder to everyone how women are still lacking respect in this country, and also another reminder that media people are publicizing things that don't deserve our attention. Alcohol could be the culprit in this prank, but aside from that excuse, the ridicule and criticism our female politicians are receiving lately is a sad commentary on our country today.

okay obama. show us all the change and fire this idiot. he is a direct representative of you, your administration. are you, mr. obama, truly about change or just more of the same idiocy in the white house, past and present. fire this ignorant and so very stupid idiot. do it now.

After the Lewinsky etc drama this fluff rolls off the teflon Clintons like beads of water. You make it sound as if heads will rolls or something.

Apparently, Favreau brings new meaning to the term, "he reached out to Senator Clinton."

Can anyone imagine the reaction if Favreau had a cardboard cutout in his room of Obama eating a watermelon? He'd be out of a job in less than a news cycle, and rightly so.

So how is this any different?

He's got to go.

Hi! He will work not just for America but for all the world.
An african from Rome.

More displays of misogyny and the disrespect of women from Team Obama. Favrea should have been fired immediately. It seems that while we have moved forward with regard to racism, this country still has a long, long way to go with regard to sexism.

This is not about youthful antics. This is about turning an honorable, respected woman into a subject of sexualized ridicule and hate. Fire him immediately.

If Clinton had won, and one of her staff had a cardboard cut-out mocking Obama, you know that there would be a huge uproar.

One suspected that Obama's campaign was like this. I'd have preferred Mrs. Clinton as president.

It was a crude, juvenile thing to do, and he must lose his new job because of it. No, I'm not talking about Andrew Malcolm this time, I'm referring to Jon Favreau. But does anyone else wonder why what looks like a headline on the home page too often turn out to be a link to this right-wing blog? When you look at an actual newspaper (yes, some of us still do that from time to time), you know that what is on the front page is fairly objective news reporting. I expect the same from But ending up on Malcolm's blog too many times has caused me to lose faith in as my primary online news source. Malcolm's dirt-digging, like the late Hedda Hopper's, makes for fun gossipy entertainment, but his lack of objectivity shows he's not a news reporter.

I guess it's taboo to have any fun now.

Har-de-har har. Big deal. Did NOBODY see the vile cartoon of Obama polishing Sarah Palin's shoe on a Chicago sidewalk? Hillary and Bill pretty much did everything but call him 'boy', THROUGHOUT the campaign. If she'd won, the only post she'd have offered him would have been a Community Organizer job in Darfur.

Well..according to the picture her breast must be in her armpit...

As the global voice for the voiceless - cardboard cutouts and all other two-dimensional peoples of the world - I say to you: I do not approve of this behavior. We are not your playthings, Mr. Speechwriter.

Jon Favreau is history. This thoughtless action signifies something about the man which probably is not presidential team quality.

Hoiw conmpletely juvenile, crude, rude and vulgar. And these are the morans who have been putting words in Obama's mouth for the last year. What a charade this whole election has been. If you lie down with dogs you'll get up with fleas.

Pictures are unforgiving... good luck in his new job...

Favreau should be fired immediately, as should any Obama staffer who participated in taking and posting the photo. It's a clear travesty and, rather than being "change we can believe in," is more of the same degradation women have been fighting for decades in this country, in the struggle for equal rights.

Senator Clinton strongly advocated for women throughout her campaign by condemning the many insults that were aimed at her simply BECAUSE she is a strong, capable woman. This behavior, also, deserves condemnation from both President-elect Obama and Senator Clinton -- and all people of integrity. As a former Clinton supporter who donated hard-earned dollars and phone calls to Obama, I expect the President-elect to deal with this swiftly and decisively.

Not only did B.O attend a racist, anti-American church that hates white America, this photo also exemplifies he employs drunken, dope heads, who pander to America. Gee, what next? I would hate to think about it. It really doesn't surprise me much with seeing the Che Gueverra posters in his staffers offices, and his history of dope dealings, his willingness to talk with our enemies, and his wifes disdain for America. OMG, what will happen to the U.S. within a few more years. Pray for the U.S people, the illegal alien hordes who steal our jobs, and lower our standard of living voted him in. Change is bad... I love the U.S just how it is, Bush didn't cause our nation to lose jobs, illegal aliens did.

Please--this is just a stupid story--who cares! The economy is melting down, the world is riddled with madness--and you print a stupid divisive story like this????

Obama hasn't even taken the oath of office and we get this adolescent tale-telling online.

What's the purpose here?

Check out "playing for change" on YouTube--let's work towards more positive, healing visions.

Change means getting a grip--and cutting such junk out!


I wonder why anyone would call Obama and company sexist. I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

Obama, fire this tool, NOW. Send a message that sexism will not be allowed in your administration. You turned a blind eye to it during the primaries. Are you going to turn a blind I now?

So. The complaints from feminists during the campaign that Obama's staff was stuffed with misogynists busy issuing sexist dogwhistles are all graphically proven true in a photo-documented instant. This is one "talented" speechwriter the new Administration should quickly learn to live without, until he grows the *hell* up.

And people ignored the few of us who were crying out about the sexism coming from that campaign. This is no surprise to me and really tells me how so many people feel about women. This is disgusting.

Again, evidence of the blatant sexism and misogyny from the professed progressive wing of the not-so-Democratic party. This jerk should be fired.

The class we came to expect from Obama's supporters during the election continues.

My response: Whatever. Next subject.

Attending a victory party in IA last January, Barack Obama and his wife entered the room to the tune of Jay-Z's song, "I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one." At a rally in NC last April, following a ragged performance at the debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos in PA, Clinton country, the night before; he accused all three of playing "gotcha games" saying "Senator Clinton looked in her element" and then raised his middle finger to his face, purporting to scratch his cheek. It hardly seems fair to punish Mr. Favreau now just for following this depraved example set by his leader.

I feel like it's going to be really awkward for certain people in the Obama administration to have Senator Clinton as Secretary of State (Samantha Power if she becomes a foreign policy advisor, considering she called her a "monster" during the campaign trail and now Josh Favreau).

In relation to that, what did Senator Clinton do to these people that they feel so compelled to demean her so publicly and idiotically? I hope they manage to grow out of this come 1/20/2009.

This nonsense is not surprising, at all, when you give such an important assignment as a Presidential Speech-writer, or any very important job to people who have, in no way, distinguished themselves in the particular fields of endeavor to which they occupy high positions. What's important to note here is not necessarily, that, Favreau is 27 years old, but rather, that we have not heard of the ways in which he distinguished himself to be placed in such a very important position. During the Primary and General election campaign, acts of immaturity were common with the campaign. You remember the campaigns chief Economic adviser who paid a dumb visit and made controversial statements to the Canadian Embassy on NAFTA; and another adviser (foreign policy adviser) on troop withdrawal from Iraq.

This sort of thing makes us ask the President -Elect, are appoints like Favreau's based on merit or relationship (patronage)? Hillary Clinton is old enough to be the mother of the 27-year old Presidential Speech-writer! What was he thinking?

lets see what happens - if this had been a teacher or a cop they would have lost their job the minute the photos came out

seems the people at the top get different treatment

this new administration is going to be the same as all the rest - we play by the rules - they make up their own rules

It's o.k. to have fun but not at someone else's expense especially someone who should be given so much more respect. Some things should'nt be joked about. Jon Favreau seems to be talented but not responsible or adult enough for the position. His behavior shows no evidence of the change I hoped and voted for.

This guy needs to be fired immediately. He has no business in the White House. Or anywhere near female staff members and politicians.

How unbelievably embarrassing - and telling - for Obama that he had this frat-boy-reject on staff...

Mr. President-Elect, FIRE JON FAVREAU NOW!

Anyone who has been on a message board in the past year knows that those who back Obama have always been women haters. I have never seen such gross public display of hatred for women as I have from supporters of Obama.

They have already spread stories about how they think Hillary will cause drama. Seventeen articles in one day. Seems like the Obama's supporters are the drama queens.

Is anyone really all that surprised. I mean what did you expect from the campign that gave us 99 problems and but a bitch aint one. Or this other classic Bros before Ho's

This pic is reflective of adolescent behavior - not that of someone who considers the ramifications of his actions. The pic is clearly in poor taste and offensive to most women. What you do in the privacy of your own home is your business, but to post such pics on a public website shows an extreme lack of judgement. If I were Obama, the speechwriter would be looking for another job

Listen to people defend this. This is who is writing for the president of the United States. This is who he REALLY is when no one is looking. No integrity.

For a senior member of Obama's direct inner circle to indulge in this despicable behavior is despicable. The silence of Obama on this is deafening.
As a 40 yr old professional male (the antithesis of the Clinton voter caricature), I deplore this blatant sexism that has been so embelmatic of the Obama campiagn.
A private apology is not enough- this man should not be the chief speech writer for our next President- period.

BIG DEAL! Some guys having fun at a party... For all you hypocrites, your kids are doing the same thing, probably worse! If you have time to be offended by this, then your time is not spent well...

Am I the only one to point out that neither of those gentlemen looks a thing like Jon Favreau? Or is it not Jon Favreau the actor/director? (Google image search) - sorry, but what's the source of this photo?

Looks like he has his other hand over her butt

Ever wonder why the private parts of old sculptures get extra shiny? Males and females alike get a laugh out of touching them.

Juvenile? Yes. Sexist? Hardly.

Those of you defending this "humor" ought to see the same photo with Michelle Obama photoshopped in as the cutout. Also available as Rachel Maddow, Claire McCaskill, Caroline Kennedy...
Funny according to how you view the woman in question.
Hmm...does anyone think some women "deserve" this more than others?

The Obamabots rush in with the lame excuses, imagine a photo of Mark Penn feeding watermelon to a cutout of Beloved Leader, would it be just some funny/juvenile/you-have-to-lighten-up kind of stuff?

Hey lightinup,
You're right ALL college kids do stuff like that.
But he's not a regular 20 something... He's Obama's #1 speech writer. How's he going to work on the State of the Union and speak to HRC after this?
How is HRC, and other women, supposed to feel when they deal with BO when all he does is apologize for the sexist comments and actions his staff make?

Am I the only one that see's a repeating pattern here? BO's staff has had SEVERAL sexist moments. But it seems they get a pass.

Newsflash, by June the honeymoon will end and the press will eat the Obama admin for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Only then, I guess, will people be more critical of his staffs shortcomings.

During the campaign, people twisted every sentence anyone in the Clinton campaign used to make them sound racist. This includes the Obama Adoration Committee (AKA the media) who capitalize on any gaffs except Obama's.

Now we have a distasteful mockery of the woman who had the gall to run for President and the story has all but disappeared. When Hillary made the comments about being under fire years earlier, the press took that story and ran with it for 2-3 weeks. Where is the fairness? I As a Clinton supporter who is now happy that Obama won, I am sick of the double standards here. He should go or we should not take seriously the speeches that come from Obama in the future. I know I won't. All people should be offended. This is not change I can believe in.

Favreau must be fired immediately. Just as racism is unacceptable, so is sexism.

This may very well be a hate crime!

Well, so long as the cardboard cut-out gets help from a qualified therapist, I am sure it will get over this traumatic assault. Perhaps a cardboard cut-out of Dr. Phil would could be flown in for the job.

Good grief America.


Gee, let me guess, "She's as flat as a board!"

Ha ha. If he can't even hide this indiscretion, it's going to be a steep learning curve for the guy. Facebook? Come on.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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