Are you poor and homeless and starving and sick of trying to fix things through the usual channels, which are all broken? Fear not! There may be a secret remedy that you haven't considered: President Obama's personal checkbook. Because he'll occasionally send personal checks to struggling people who write him with their horror stories. Just make sure to include all the gritty details.
The Washington Post's Eli Saslow is writing a book about the letters the president reads everyday, and, unsurprisingly, since it's a book about how much time the deeply compassionate President spends reading and empathizing with tales from constituents, the White House is gladly cooperating with him. Just look at how he hams it up in these interviews; what a pro:
A few times during his presidency, Obama admitted, he had written a personal check or made a phone call on the writer's behalf, believing that it was his only way to ensure a fast result. "It's not something I should advertise, but it has happened," he told me. Many other times, he had forwarded letters to government agencies or Cabinet secretaries after attaching a standard, handwritten note that read: "Can you please take care of this?"
"Some of these letters you read and you say, ‘Gosh, I really want to help this person, and I may not have the tools to help them right now,' " the president said. "And then you start thinking about the fact that for every one person that wrote describing their story, there might be another hundred thousand going through the same thing. So there are times when I'm reading the letters and I feel pained that I can't do more, faster, to make a difference in their lives."
If he wants to help more people, faster, he should write a limited edition of 25-50 checks for $0.01 each, because, really, who's going to cash a check from the President? The real money's in selling those suckers as collector's items.
Although maybe it's just easier to cash whatever he sends you immediately so as to purchase food and not die.
[Photo by Pete Souza/The White House]