The State of the Union starts in a few hours, and the push to drum up an audience continues. In an e-mail from the White House sent earlier today, First Lady Michelle Obama explains that tonight's speech will be based not on piles of papers or meetings, but on the things her husband reads late at night. Have you been writing him?
Tonight, Barack will deliver his fifth State of the Union address.
You might think that this speech was born out of a pile of papers or a long series of meetings. But actually, the real motivations—and the real substance—behind tonight's speech come from those quiet moments late at night, when Barack is at his desk reading your letters.
He reads at least 10 a day, from folks all across the country. You write him to say thank you, or to weigh in on a policy issue. You tell him about your families, and what's going on in your lives. And he listens.
These letters turn into real action. I've seen it happen: He'll write in the margins "This is who we're fighting for," and then he'll pass them on to his senior staff.
Barack is always up late before big speeches like this one.
And all day today, I know that he'll be making changes to the speech right up until the last hour.
It's not only because he wants to get that final draft just right. It's because he cares deeply about your stories and your hopes and dreams. That's what keeps him going every single day.
We hope you'll be watching:
First Lady Michelle Obama
I wonder if the same people who pre-select the "average citizens" who get to ask the president questions at "town halls" pre-select which letters he spends his nights reading? It seems if he were actually reading a random sampling of the mail he gets, he might have a little more understanding of why so many Americans are so disenchanted with his policies. Most Americans, anyway, are probably as uninterested in writing a letter to the president as they are in listening to him talk.