Q: How many letters does the president receive daily?
— Stephen Smith, Atlanta
A: President Barack Obama requested in his first week as president to see 10 letters from Americans every day. Mike Kelleher, director of the Office of Presidential Correspondence, said the president receives about 65,000 paper letters every week and about 100,000 e-mails, 1,000 faxes and 2,500 to 3,500 phone calls per day.
“Some writers are critical of the president or his agenda, others express their agreement, while still others say they want to provide their unique perspective,” Kelleher wrote in his blog at www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Letters-to-the-President. He said he tries to select a sample of messages that are representative of all those sent to the president, are representative of events in the news, or that contain compelling stories.
“These letters, I think, do more to keep me in touch with what’s happening around the country than just about anything else. Some of them are funny; some of them are angry; a lot of them are frustrated or sad about their current situation,” Obama said in an “Inside the White House” video at WhiteHouse.gov that shows the process the letters go through before reaching the Oval Office. The president responds by hand to about three to four per night, on average, according to the White House.
Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (include name, phone and city).
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