November 3rd, 2012
01:39 AM ET

Letters to the President #1384: 'The last big weekend'

Reporter's Note: I have written to President Obama every day since he was sworn in. I’m sure he finds that as depressing as I do.

Dear Mr. President,

Don’t you just hate having to work on weekends? I know you are on the trail with the big election just a few days off now, and accordingly I am also on the job on these days when I would normally be off. Mind you, there is a bit of a difference. Your reward for working on Saturday, if all goes as you plan, is that you get to be Leader of the Free World for another four years, while I get…well, I get to keep my job, and in this day and time that is not chicken feed, is it?

Still, it is a bummer to be heading off to the office on a weekend just like it is a weekday.

I think if I were you, and I won re-election, one of the things I would most consider is a legislative limits on campaigns. Not on the money. That trick has already been tried, and it failed. No, I think I would try to limit the time in which campaigning is legal.

See what is wearing everyone out is not just the endless ads, debates, bus tours, and photo ops…it is just the relentless, unending nature of modern campaigns. As soon as we finish one, people start making noise about the next. Not only does that exhaust voters, but I think it adds to a fundamental problem in government; it constantly keeps you elected officials jumpy. You’re so hyper-aware of the need to raise money and triangulate voting blocks that you never have any time to focus on just doing the job to which you were elected.

I’m not aiming this specifically at you, of course. I’m talking about politicians and political races in general. No, we’ve had enough of endless elections. I think campaigns, even for President, should start no sooner than June of the election year. Honestly, if you can’t get your message out in five months or so, what kind of politician are you?

So if you win re-election, give that a whirl would you? In fact, even if you don’t win, give it a shot. Heck, your career won’t be on the line anymore either way. Ha!


November 3rd, 2012
12:02 AM ET

Blind student steps in to feed Sandy victims

MaryBeth Melendez's classmate who lives in New Dorp Beach in New York's Staten Island reached out for help after the storm left the area in shambles. Melendez cooked a meal and mobilized others from her school to bring food to the neighborhood. She says after that, the group became "command central" for people in need of clothes and something to eat.

"Because I'm blind, I want to tell you maybe God blessed me and I can't see the visuals because it hurts. It really hurts...so being here, it's overwhelming. So maybe the blessing is I can't see the broken houses, but I can see their broken hearts," Melendez tells Anderson Cooper.


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