Apr 19, 2023 - Politics & Policy

First look: Former Biden speechwriter joins Bully Pulpit Interactive

Jeff Nussbaum. Photo: Talah Wafa/Little Palm Photography. Used by permission

Jeff Nussbaum, a former Biden speechwriter whose words have set the beat for the last four party conventions, is joining Bully Pulpit Interactive as a partner, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Nussbaum will bring his experience writing for corporate and political leaders to BPI, a marketing and communications agency, as it expands its executive communications practice, with a focus on the C-suite.

  • Nussbaum left the White House last summer to focus on his book, “Undelivered," a collection of speeches that were drafted — but not delivered — because history took a different path.
  • Prior to the Biden White House, he hung his hat at the West Wing Writers Group for 15 years, after getting a start as a young speechwriter for then-Vice President Al Gore after graduating from Brown University.
  • Nussbaum has written dozens of floor speeches for politicians, pop stars and CEOs at the Democratic convention, where he has led or co-led the speechwriting efforts for the last four cycles.

What they are saying: "I’ve long admired the BPI team, and I can’t wait to get started,” Nussbaum said. "Speeches are important for more than the audience in the room; they’re also critical for shaping the narrative of an organization.”

  • "Jeff is already widely recognized as one of the country’s top writers and message strategists, and he has long been a trusted partner to leaders in both the public and private sectors," BPI president Andrew Bleeker said.

Between the lines: Ben LaBolt, President Biden’s new communications director, left BPI to join the White House this year.

  • Former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs is also at the Democratic agency.

The intrigue: Precision Media, another Democratic firm that grew out of Obamaworld, is facing a unionization effort — as progressive employees look to claim the same workplace rights and values they are fighting for in campaigns.

The bottom line: Corporate communications — both internal and external — is playing an important role in the war for talent.

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