Claremont McKenna College
The Man Behind the Curtain
Leadership is a constant theme and emphasis at CMC. In fact, one of the ways we describe CMC students is “Leaders in the Making.” Identify and discuss a person, fictional or nonfictional, who has helped shape culture and thought. You may select someone from any field: literature, the arts, science, politics, history, athletics, business, education, etc.
Whether or not one supported Barack Obama’s election to the White House, one must concede that the President’s campaign speeches brilliantly portrayed a new vision for a tired country. Yet Obama did not write them. The man behind the curtain was 28-year-old Jon Favreau. Though not yet a household name, Favreau was the wordsmith behind the 2008 Obama campaign that changed the face of the American political landscape. Favreau’s words presented a simple message -- “Yes, we can” -- and that message carried Obama to victory. Through his writing, Favreau helped to shape the country’s thoughts and culture. He not only influenced the election, but also inspired people to have hope for a better future.
The man with the mighty pen had humble beginnings. Born in Massachusetts, Favreau began to excel during college, graduating as valedictorian from the College of the Holy Cross. His valedictory address mixed humor and poignancy. Though his tone was lighthearted, Favreau still left his audience with a serious message, writing that, “The employers are our communities, and while each position is already being filled by millions all over the world, there is a desperate need for more help. And here’s some of what we need: soccer coaches…,...
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