October 18th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Letters to the President #1368: 'Reading between the lines'

Reporter's Note: President Obama and Mitt Romney continue to campaign. I continue writing letters. Pretty soon at least one of us is going to crack under the strain...

Dear Mr. President,

I’m sure you’re pretty busy these days, but let me tell you, you’re not the only one. I can hardly keep up with all the projects at work these days. I won’t complain. As I like to say, there are only two kinds of people these days: Those with no work, and those with too much. Ha!

Speaking of which, your pal Mitt Romney seems to have his hands full dealing with that “binders full of women” comment from the debate. And I have to say, that is a shame. It seems pretty clear to me what he was trying to say, that he certainly meant no offense, and I’m always a tad troubled by the idea of political races hinging on things like this.

We all say things in ways we don’t intend from time to time. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. And heaven knows Joe Biden has. But a few ill-chosen words seem to be a bad basic for selecting…or not selecting…a leader of a nation. Now, granted, if people believe those words expose some fundamental belief that troubles them, that is a different matter. Words do, after all, matter. I can respect such judgments.

Still, that just doesn’t seem to be the case here. You tried to explain what you have done to help women in this country. Mr. Romney tried to do the same. Each of you have some things to brag about, and each of you could also make pretty substantial improvements on that front. And yet a massive amount of discussion is being attached to not the substance of all that each of you said or did, but rather to one portion of a phrase.

Anyway, it was just on my mind as I watched all the kerfuffle today. I hope all is well with you. Call if you can.


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