July 10th, 2010
09:22 AM ET

Letter to the President #537: 'How should a president fit into the campaign picture?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/07/08/obama.campaign.trail/story.obama.th.gi.jpg caption="Helping your party, as much as any president does it, must always take a back seat to serving and answering to the population at large." width=300 height=169]

Reporter's Note: President Obama still has a long time until he’ll need to think about re-election in earnest, but some of his fellow Dems are already pounding the campaign pavement. Just how much should he help them along? Well, that’s what I’d walked over to the White House in my latest letter.

Dear Mr. President,

This heat is pretty much making me crazy, which is strange because usually I can endure long, broiling days with little or no complaint. I’ve been known to go for ten mile runs with potatoes in my pockets just so I can come home with them pre-cooked for dinner. Ha! But this year the soaring temps have me sleeping badly, barking at the dog, and staring into the air conditioner vents as if I’m waiting for Shackleton’s ghost to emerge and lead me through a frozen land.

I assume the heat wave may also account for your new found feistiness on the campaign trail on behalf of your Democratic pals, too. Oh yes, I saw you out there throwing jabs at the Republicans! I can’t blame you, of course, because they certainly toss their fair share of punches at you. And certainly getting some of your party’s faithful re-elected in this tough economy, and in these anti-incumbent days is going to take all the haymakers you can muster.

Still, I would suggest to you, as I would to any president, don’t forget in the midst of all this, that you are not just another politician. You are the President of the United States and that gives you certain advantages (lots of them!) and disadvantages as well.