We sat down for a Q&A with David Litt
“Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years,” released today, marks David Litt’s debut into the book world. The memoir regales readers with stories of what it was like for Litt when, at 24, he became one of the youngest speechwriters in White House history, getting hired by Obama’s team in 2010. We, however, were more interested in the story of how he met Jacqui, his now fiance. Spoiler: it was on OkCupid.
While “Thanks, Obama” largely focuses on Litt’s time with the 44th President, it does dive into other aspects of Litt’s life while he was working at the White House — online dating included, and OkCupid gets a mention. So we sat down with the couple to get the details that the book reviews won’t cover.
Litt’s debut memoir was released today.
First, tell us about your OkCupid experience?
David: As a speechwriter, I like to revise things — so the idea that you could write out your profile and then rewrite it was something that I liked…that you could really let your message sit there before sending it so you could give it some extra thought.
Jacqui: Just to be clear, his first message was one sentence. I had joined OkCupid when I came to D.C. for law school and I wanted to date outside of my social circle; I knew I didn’t want to date other law students.
How did you two meet on OkCupid?
David: I had kept my location parameters to just the Washington area at first but one day I was like fine, I’ll message someone who lives in Virginia.
Jacqui: At the time, I lived in Arlington and had actually just taken a “dating break” when David messaged me.
Hot tip: Expanding your location settings lets you connect with more people who share your tastes — just maybe not your taste in neighborhoods.
Our iconic questions are pretty famous, and we recently added a set of political questions that now have over 5 million responses. How important do you think it is for you and your partner to agree on politics?
Jacqui: My dad’s a Republican and my mom’s a Democrat so I always thought it wasn’t a big deal. And I love arguing — as long as I’m mostly on the same page with the other person.
David: I feel the same way about arguing, but politics and dating are different now. Politics is no longer tangential like it was before. On OkCupid, I’d pick up on clues to how a person felt politically based on interests in things like Parks and Rec versus camo.
The couple got engaged the weekend after election day. “I planned the proposal figuring that Hillary would win,” says David. “The silver lining was that we had a monopoly on good news for two full weeks.”
David, do you think any parallels can be drawn between what it’s like working in the White House and dating?
David: The book is about how, when I started at the White House, I was in way over my head. It covers the /…/