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November 5th, 2012
08:36 PM ET

Letters to the President #1386: 'The last campaign'

Reporter's Note: President Obama was busy barnstorming for votes today. I was busy writing this letter. I guess he’ll be a little more tired than I will tonight.

Dear Mr. President,

Has it occurred to you that this is probably the last day ever that you’ll spend campaigning for a race in which you are running? Oh sure, you might decide to score a city council seat back in Chicago in 15 years if you get bored, but I kind of doubt it. This is your final Super Bowl, and these are the last minutes of the last quarter, and it is still not clear which team is going to win.

I’m not sure how I would feel about that.

While every former president I’ve ever met has assured me that it is a lot more to be out of the Oval Office than in it, you’re still a young guy to be teetering on the brink of retirement. And one way or the other, either by Wednesday or in four years, that is where you’ll be. The highest professional accomplishment of your life will be over. Nothing will top it, and the historians will start writing the books that define whether you were good or bad at it. They will include a chapter on what you do after your presidency, but not much more.

You can still do important work, of course. Many former presidents seem considerably more productive when they leave office, but still it will probably feel strange.

Anyway, all of this is to say, I know you must be tired of the campaign and ready for some rest, come what may on Tuesday; but enjoy your final hours on the trail. No matter what, you’ll never be there again like this.

Best of luck to you and Governor Romney tomorrow.

Regards,
Tom

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