United States President Joe Biden addressed his second State of the Union (SOTU), an annual message to Congress and one of the most momentous occasions on Washington DC’s political calendar, on Tuesday, 7 February.
In the lead-up to the speech, reports speculated not only the content of Biden’s speech, where he would boast about job creation under his presidency and the US’ approach with China, but also on the preparations behind the address and the minds who’ve played a key role in its drafting.
Just like most of Biden’s speeches in the recent years, the chief architect of the State of the Union was Vinay Reddy, an Indian American who occupies the post of chief White House speechwriter.
Reddy was a part of the group that worked with Biden on the SOTU speech, alongside senior advisor Mike Donilon, political advisor Bruce Reed, senior advisor Anita Dunn, counsellor Steven J Ricchetti, and historian Jon Meacham.
Who Is Vinay Reddy?
Born and raised in Ohio, Vinay Reddy’s family hails from Telangana’s Pothireddypeta village in Karimnagar. His father, Narayana Reddy, migrated to the US in 1970 after completing an MBBS from Hyderabad.
Reddy studied in Ohio public schools, from kindergarten to Miami University and further to the Ohio State University College of Law.
He previously served as a speechwriter for the Biden-Harris Campaign and and also as chief speechwriter to Vice President Biden, during the Obama-Biden White House’s second term. He has also worked with Adam Silver, commissioner of the National Basketball Association as Vice President of strategic communications.
Reddy is a close aide of Biden’s, tasked with writing early drafts that take into consideration all of the talking points and then writing a final draft, a New York Times report said. He was called one of the “early engines of the (speechwriting) process.”
The first Asian American to serve as the White House director of speech writing, Reddy served as senior speechwriter at the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama-Biden Administration, having also served as deputy speechwriter for the Obama-Biden re-election campaign, and speechwriter for his home state Senator, Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
Biden speechwriting veterans told Politico that Reddy has excelled the way he has owed to his ability to manage “his bosses’ moods and whims as for channeling his voice.”
Other former colleagues pointed out the quality of his writing which is “tight, plainspoken and emotive.”
“He's fluent in Bidenese,” said Kate Bedingfield, the White House communications director who worked with Reddy when Biden was vice president.