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February 1st, 2012
04:33 PM ET

Letters to the President #1108: 'Leaving Las Vegas...again'

Reporter's Note: I've been in Nevada covering the presidential primary/caucus race. And yet I have still found time to write my daily letter to the president.

Dear Mr. President,

As I write this, I am winging my way back to DC from Las Vegas. Like Elvis, I don't know how many times I have been here over the years, but here is the strange thing: It has always been for work, never for vacation.

Frankly, it would not surprise me if the same is true for you, and yet in your profession, you have to be a gambler of sorts. I used to think that people could simply triangulate their goal...whether personal, financial, or professional...but I know now that this is simply not true, especially when it comes to big positions such as the presidency.

Certainly hundreds, maybe thousands of people have had the ability, the means, and a genuine shot at that office only to find their hopes crashing like a poker player dealt a bad card. It doesn't mean they did anything wrong or were unqualified. They just ran out of luck.

Luck, I am afraid, plays a bigger role in our success than most of us want to accept. Studies have shown that we almost all believe we control our destinies more than we actually do.

All of which has me wondering what kind of luck...a news event, a scandal, an economic trend...will come flopping onto the table this summer, and what it will mean to you and everyone else who wants the White House in the fall.

I'll be back by mid-evening if you want to call and say hi, but probably going out for a late run so won't be able to talk much.

Regards,
Tom

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