One of the Star's marvelous copy and assigning editors, Alf Holden, forwards this photo of Obama conferring with his speechwriter over a tribute to the late Edward Kennedy. Click to enlarge, and have a close look. See where Obama replaces generalities with specific examples; in other places does the opposite; exchanges a cliche with a refreshing, unfamiliar turn of phrase. As I e-mailed Alf in response, where did Obama first learn this? The squiggly mark he uses to remove punctuation is the traditional printer's instruction. Was it that year editing the Harvard Law Review? Or going over copy-edited manuscripts of his Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope? In any case, a dream for a speechwriter to work with - including the legibility of Obama's changes, most unusual in my experience editing books and magazine articles. Obama's chief speechwriter, by the way, is a superb thirtysomething and the second-youngest to hold the post of chief WH speechwriter, after the Atlantic's James Fallows when he signed on with President Carter.