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June 2nd, 2012
06:13 AM ET

Letters to the President #1230: 'Jubilee time!'

Reporter's Note: Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for 60 years. President Obama has been in his job a little over three years. And yet, he is the one I write to every day. Go figure.

Dear Mr. President,

Do you realize if I wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth for every day of her reign, I would have written almost 22,000 letters by now. Wow! My fingers hurt just thinking about that. By comparison my 1200+ letters to you make me feel like a slacker.

More importantly, can you imagine what you would do with any job that you held for that long?

Sometimes I wonder if our political leaders, presidents included, are in office too long. After all, very few of us out here have guaranteed employment for four years at a time, and that brings a certain honesty to our work. We know we must perform day in and out or get the boot.

On the other hand, the learning curve for public service is unique, and maybe the issue is that our elected leaders are not in office nearly long enough. I realize this is a radical notion, and I’m not saying I’m in favor of it I’m just spit balling the possibilities.

I know that there are, for example, certain problems which are extremely hard to tackle in just a few years. Even if some courageous legislators tries to take on those massive, long terms issues like Social Security or the tax code, chances are good that the benefits will not come down the pike for many years….long after the brave lawmaker has been voted out of office. That is one of the reasons presidents and Congress members avoid these matters: Who needs the headache?

I’ve never been a “Royals” fan. I don’t dislike the Queen and her family, but I’m also not all gaga over them. Still, I wonder how different we would be as a nation if we had a president who presided for decades instead of just years; who knew that even long term problems would eventually be his (or hers) to face.

That might help us grapple with some thorny issues we currently avoid.

But picking such a president? Ah…well, that would be a whole new problem!

Regards,
Tom

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