One of the prompts for the FFL 2019 Reading Challenge was to read a book by a former White House staffer. I love recommending these books because they’re political without being too aggressively-partisan and they are excellent insights into the executive branch. I read From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein about her time as a White House stenographer and her affair with another staffer, so this time I picked up Thanks Obama by David Litt, a White House speech writer who now runs Funny or Die in DC. I was not disappointed. The book is funny, well-told, measured, and really enjoyable.
David Litt is hilarious. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by him, and he reminded me so much of a young David Sedaris with his cadence and his sense of humor. He can make even dry subjects funny. Whether he’s talking about the food on Air Force One, getting lost in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, or dating while working in the executive branch, you’re going to laugh. David Litt, for the majority of his White House career, was not buddy-buddy with the POTUS, so I especially loved laughing at his awkward encounters with Obama, like when he sang him the Golden Girls theme song in the Oval Office. He talks about Obama with reverence of course, but he also shows the human side and the funny side. Whether you like Obama, hate him,or are pretty indifferent, this is an enjoyable book. Yes, he talks about healthcare a lot, but he relates it to his real life and to the speech-writing he did related to it.
I cannot wait to read more David Litt in the future. If you’re considering it, I highly recommend the audiobook. His narration is excellent, and, when talking about Charleston, it includes a real clip of Obama singing Amazing Grace.