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The Jewish Speech Writer Behind Michelle Obama & Hillary Clinton

sarah hurwitz

via FB

If you don’t know who Sarah Hurwitz is yet, then you should now. She’s been First Lady Michelle Obama’s head speechwriter for nearly seven years (and eight for the Obamas in general). Yup, that’s right–she’s the writer behind Michelle’s powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention last night.

Hurwitz recently told The Washington Post that while she does write Michelle Obama’s speeches, the first lady also knows what she wants:

“As I write for her now, I’m sort of editing the speech with her voice in my head because she’s given me so much feedback over the years and been so clear about what she wants.”

The 38-year-old Harvard Law School grad has been a White House staff member since the 2008 campaign. Interestingly, she started as Hillary Clinton’s chief speechwriter–so it’s all coming full circle for Hurwitz. Apparently, she was assigned to write for Michelle Obama at the 2008 Denver convention–and their first meeting went swimmingly. Hurwitz explained:

“She clearly said to me: ‘Okay, this is who I am. This is where I come from. This is my family. These are my values, and this is what I want to talk about at the convention.’ I realized then that Michelle Obama knows who she is, and she always knows what she wants to say.”

Yes, this means Hurwitz wrote the 2008 convention speech Michelle Obama gave that Melania Trump is accused of plagiarizing at this years RNC. Funny how far words can really go. She’s also best known for Clinton’s concession speech in 2008, particularly the memorable phrase “18 million cracks” in the glass ceiling.

Of course, writing for such high profile politicians also means that the hours are going to be rough–because the words can’t be just good, they have to be perfect. Interestingly, this has pushed Hurwitz to refocus on her Jewish identity–as she’s currently taking classes on Judaism and exercises often .

At the end of the day, however, all the hard work is worth it. Hurwitz has stated how, even for her, she was completely wowed by Michelle Obama last night:

“I thought to myself, ‘I am watching the great-great-granddaughter of a slave give a speech to a room of Native American kids, [and] the vast majority of them are going to college, and many to Ivy League schools.’ To see that — this is a great country.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.


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