Tom Foreman, a CNN anchor and reporter, revealed that he has written a letter to President Obama every day of his first term.
That’s Every. Single. Day.
Some may find that bizarre, obsessive, even unnatural. Others may question the journalistic ethics of personally communicating with the president of the United States in such a regular and friendly fashion.
Evidently, Foreman’s employers at CNN don’t think either of those things and actually gave him space on their website to publish an article explaining himself:
I wrote about things that were important, like unemployment, Afghanistan and women’s rights. I also wrote about things that were trivial, like sports, favorite foods and my yearly battle with Christmas lights.
The tally: 1,460 letters, well over a half-million words, or enough to fill about seven novels. Laid out as one line of text, these letters would stretch almost 3½ miles or considerably longer than the inaugural parade route.
After explaining how hard it got over the years to come up with something interesting and pertinent to say, Foreman reveals the real reason he wrote the president every day: he is a raging narcissist:
In the third year, I surged ahead. Having accepted that my fountain of easy ideas had run dry, I dedicated more serious thought to what I would say. To be sure, the letters became less entertaining, but I liked to imagine that they had more substance, although in retrospect I was probably wrong.
And in this fourth year, I struggled. It seemed many days as if I’d already said everything I had to say and then some. At one point I had considered writing letters to the White House for the rest of my life. The fourth year convinced me that this would be a bad idea. I found myself counting the days to January.
Along the way it occurred to me that being president is probably much harder than most of us suppose. After all, if it is this exhausting just thinking about the job, imagine what it is like actually punching the Oval Office clock. Truthfully, I offered very little advice. More often I presented general notions about how one approaches problems; the same notions I would pass on to anyone in any position who faces daily challenges.
Which, I guess, is pretty much all of us.