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September 19th, 2012
06:55 PM ET

Letters to the President #1339: 'Heading toward the finish'

Reporter's Note: President Obama probably gets a lot of letters every day, so one more can’t be much of a bother. You think?

Dear Mr. President,

You’ll be pleased to know that after a completely awful run on Sunday afternoon, I had a much more pleasant trot this morning. Not that far. Just a few miles, but I kept it slow and steady, and felt generally pretty solid through the whole thing.

I have come to have a lot of faith in the idea of starting slowly and gradually stacking up the miles. It’s difficult to restrain the urge to break away early on, but frankly I’d rather finish any race running strong and feeling as if I am picking up steam instead of just staggering to the line.

This, of course, is a metaphor.

You are undoubtedly doing well in your run for re-election right now, and increasingly I hear the buzz of pundits saying the proverbial Fat Lady is tuning up in the wings for Mr. Romney. You are leading in more polls. The donations seem to be rolling in pretty steadily. I hear less and less of the talk from a few months back about how vulnerable you have been made by the jobless rate, the low home values, and on and on and on.

Still, this is September. We have all of October, and into November before the vote comes around, and a million things might happen in the interim; scandals, international or domestic unrest, further economic turmoil. In other words, I offer the same advice to you that I would give to any runner in any race, run through the tape. Don’t assume, no matter how close you are to the finish, that your position is assured. Surprising things can happen in the final steps and many a presumed champion has found himself startled in 2nd place by a late charging opponent.

Again, I’m not saying things will go that way. But you would be foolish not to prepare for that possibility; just as Mr. Romney would be foolish to give up hope even though he seems to be having some difficulties now.

Hope all is well. Give me a shout if you have a moment. I’m around.

Regards,
Tom

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