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January 17th, 2013
09:17 PM ET

Letters to the President #1459: 'Preparing for guests'

Reporter's Note: President Obama is no doubt preparing for his inauguration, as am I.

Dear Mr. President,

Well, here the week is winding down again and the work just seems to be growing right before my eyes. And yet at any given moment I feel as if I am getting nothing done. Do you have that sensation?

I imagine you do, since the ocean of matters surging around your desk is infinite. No matter how much you bail it never seems to change, I suppose.

Still, the big inauguration is coming up and you must be excited about that. Speaking of which, I talked yesterday with one of your fans. I won’t put his name here, since I didn’t say anything about mentioning him to you and I would not want him to be embarrassed. But he really is a big fan. He voted for you last time and this time too, and he’s also coming to the inauguration!

I have to say that I am impressed by that. Of course, as a journalist I am paid to never get that “into” any candidate, but even if I had, I can’t imagine that I’d ever feel so strongly about an elected official that I’d pack my bags and get onto an airplane just to cheer for him or her from a distance. But hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans are going to do that in just a few days because that is how they feel about you. Isn’t that something?

I always feel good when my wife just stands on the porch and waves goodbye when I leave for work. The idea that people I’ve never met, and never will meet personally, would go to such pains to wish me well…just amazing. Fortunately, I don’t think I’ll ever have to contemplate such a puzzle. Ha!

Still, I hope it crosses your mind as you make your final preparations. I’m sure taking the oath will feel just as special this time as last…maybe it would feel that way if you took it a dozen times. But remember as you stand there that just witnessing that moment from a distance…maybe a great distance…is also a great moment for many of your fellow citizens, whose hopes for the next four years may be even greater than yours.

Call if you can. I’m busy, but around.

Regards,
Tom

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