Richland Native Shapes Policy at the White House - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland Native Shapes Policy at the White House

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RICHLAND, Wash.- It's no surprise that many of the resident's speeches are written by others, but over the past few years a man from the Tri-Cities has had a huge hand in many speeches.

Those words that helped comfort a nation after the attacks of nine-eleven came from the President, but one of the men behind some of them, was Pete Wehner a 1979 Hanford High grad.

For six years, Wehner was one of the President's top advisors on strategic initiatives.  A big change from his small-town roots.

"I do have strong feelings on policies and I did make an impact and it is rewarding because you can help advocate policies that you think can help make a difference," he said.

Wehner's love for politics began in middle school.

He spent college studying President Kennedy's famous speeches.

After college, Wehner took an internship in Washington, D.C., and in the year's since then, he's become one of the President's top aides.

It's just like drinking from a fire hose

Under President Bush, wehner ran the President's Office of Strategic Initiatives, a one-man think tank on the nation's long term goals.

Upon leaving the White House two weeks ago, Wehner's impact was documented in a number of national papers.  Some close to the White House going as far as saying they "can't remember an aide with his impact."

A pretty big jump for the kid from Richland who remembers his first political encounter, that middle school argument over President Nixon that eventually shaped his career.