Dear President Obama,
Before you leave office, (and also to relieve my stress about the current election), I want to thank you for being President in such turbulent times. When you took office, things were so bleak I had my doubts about the state of the nation because of the financial meltdown. I am sure I couldn’t, in a million years, imagine what that was like for you.
One of the reasons I voted for you was because I loved your book, Dreams From My Father. “A writer, ” I thought to myself, “this is going to be really cool.” Then you got stuck with all that really important financial stuff, and I thought, “not fair.”
Throughout your Presidency, I came to appreciate your positive presence. Frankly, when I read your second book I thought you might be a bit naive about politics. I worked on The Hill for members of Congress in the 1970s, as well as a newspaper reporter, and I must admit my jaded attitude and general skepticism has worsened as I have gotten older. But you still seem to believe in the audacity of hope. And for that I thank you.
Without compare, you are the coolest President ever. The Press Club dinners you attended, and especially your riff on Donald Trump were as funny as any comedian’s. Further, you are not afraid to sing, dance or poke fun at yourself. You are not afraid to be sad nor are you afraid to act like a dad. Dr. Suess would be proud. Me too.
You and Michelle are a fantastically classy couple and I take a Mom-like pride in how handsome and beautiful you both look all dressed up, representing our country.
And your daughters are very impressive too, just in the fact that they seem fairly normal and grounded. That’s an achievement anywhere, but in the White House, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is to preserve family life.
I also cannot envision having a job where I was opposed at every turn and compromise was ruled out simply because the goal was to thwart. That would drive me nuts. Constant criticism all the time, even hatred—I don’t know how you stand it. But you have, and for that I think you deserve thanks so big there is not even a word for it.
Most recently, preserving land and habitat, namely, the Papahanaumokua Marine Monument, the Katahdin Woods and Waters and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Monuments (and others) makes you a hero in my eyes. I volunteer at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and treasure time outdoors, especially watching birds. Habitat preservation is close to my heart. Thank-you.
These are just a few of the things you deserve thanks for, but I can only list so many. I am sad you must leave the Presidency, but you may have mixed feelings. I hope it has been worth it for you personally and for your family. Certainly, all Americans owe you a giant heap of gratitude for even taking the job.
May the next stage of your life bring you much joy. Write, reflect, and remember, many Americans like me offer our thanks. And we will miss you as our President.