It’s amazing to think that not but two-hundred years ago, many Americans didn’t know what their president looked like. Most likely they never got to hear him speak, would never see him in action campaigning for their votes or delivering addresses. Those living in or near the largest urban centers might have had access to a tabloid newspaper, wherein they could see a line drawing of the president. A few thousand lucky people nationwide might see the presidential hopeful’s East Coast campaign speeches and ceremonies. The vast majority of American citizens would never see the man’s actual face, never witness his mannerisms or gauge his idiosyncrasies. It seems strange to us, in this day and age, when a person is elected to office based mainly around how he presents himself, and not his ideas, to the public. It’s especially strange in 2012, when I, personally, receive upwards of five fucking e-mails a day from President Barack Obama and members of his family or the people he works with.
I’ve heard of needy, but this is ridiculous. President Obama is worse than some jilted girlfriends I’ve known. And it’s not just structured e-mails outlining his strategies and plans, but quick messages just to let me know that he’s thinking of me. “I’m about to stand before Congress and act like they’re not a bunch of fuckwits while asking them to pass some legislation without tacking a bunch of anti-abortion bullshit to it, and I’d like to thank you for your continuing support.” I know you’ve probably got some pre-podium jitters, Obama, but give me a break. There’s nothing more pathetic than someone constantly seeking your approval and praise. How about this, Barack: go get ‘em, champ! I believe in you. It gets increasingly difficult to believe in you when you’re constantly looking for me to pat you on the back every time you sign your name. How would you like it if I messaged the Oval Office every time I turned down a slice of cake or some fattening food? Which never actually happens, but hypothetically. Just sayin’.
And it’s not just the president, but his wife Michelle, his vice president Joe Biden, and the fucking Vice President’s wife Jill. Who’s next, the Obama family dog? Plus there are the endless e-mails from Obama’s campaign staff and cabinet that reiterate the same shit Obama writes about in the first place. That’s how you know they’re sending these behind his back, probably because they don’t want Barack to think that their faith in him is assailable. “Hey, this is Jim Messina, one of Obama’s political staffers. I’d just like to say that I think you’re great for supporting the old bean. Don’t tell him I wrote you, okay? He’d be so pissed off if he knew.” Meanwhile I’ve got half a dozen e-mails from Obama in my e-mail in-box that are the conversational equivalent of “whatcha thinkin’?” I’ll tell you what, if you want to know if I like Obama or “like” like Obama, then why don’t you pass me a note in study hall and see if I’ll go to the homecoming dance with him? Because if you keep sending me more e-mails than amazon.com, I’m definitely not going to like Obama “in that way.”
I think the final straw came a few months ago when there was some kind of contest where the prize was dinner with the president and his wife. It all started innocuously as a couple of e-mails detailing the requisites for this contest, but then the missives became more and more desperate. E-mails from Michelle Obama asking me what I planned on wearing to the dinner and what kinds of questions I had to ask her husband. E-mails from Barack thanking me for my interest and telling me how much he looked forward to dinner with me and a guest of my choosing. Buddy, I didn’t even respond to your fucking invite in the first place. Take a hint for crying out loud. Harassing me about what I’m going to wear and whether I’m allergic to shellfish isn’t going to make me want to come to dinner. I’ll tell you what, Mr. President: let’s limit the e-mails to twice a year, once on Christmas and once on my birthday. We can catch up, trade stories, shoot the shit, and part as friends. Because at the rate you’re going now, I think I might have to get a restraining order against you and your White House staff.