Gee Mr. President, Thanks for the Christmas Card (Finally).


I don't usually get political here on Modern Day Dad, but this isn't really a post about politics. Rather, it's a post more about politeness than politics.

In 2008 I was a big supporter of President Obama's campaign. For the first time in my life not only had I contributed money towards a campaign, but I had also volunteered. Even though it was a small amount of time (knocking on doors on election day), I enjoyed the victory because I felt like I had contributed something more than just my vote. That night I received the thank you email like everyone else, and I was happy.

That Christmas however I did expect a holiday card from the President, but not because of anything he did.

A few years previously my wife and I had moved into a new house, and that Christmas we received a card with a signed picture of (then) president George W. Bush. We hadn't ever given money and were both registered Democrats but somehow we got on some list. And even though he was barking up the wrong tree (politically speaking), I had to admit it was nice getting something in the mail from the President of the United States.

But in 2008 a card didn't come from the President. The country was in rough shape and I figured that they probably had more important things to spend money on than cards to political supporters.

Then in 2010 I volunteered for the Harry Reid reelection campaign here in Nevada. This time I spent many, many more hours and was fortunate to use some of my own skills for the benefit of the campaign. It was a great experience, and while I remain grateful to the campaign for the opportunity I never received any sort of formal thank you from the Senator or the campaign. A simple form letter would have been a nice thing to get, but by now my expectations had kind of been set by the Obama campaign so I wasn't really that surprised.

Then this year at Christmas I got, for the first time ever, a Christmas card from the first family (pictured above). Coincidentally, the 2012 reelection campaign is starting up and they're looking for more campaign donations. I don't mind the transparent marketing, but getting a Christmas card from someone only when they want something (and not when they don't) is insulting. Do they honestly think a holiday card this year is going to get me to contribute more money? Because believe me, it's had the opposite effect.

As a post script, I also happen to know it wasn't always this way in Democratic politics. In 1966 my mother (then a young college student) went out to the airport in St. Louis to see off Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Some photographers from Life Magazine were there, and my mother signed a photo release form. The pictures were never used, but few weeks later the Senator's office sent her a form letter thanking her, and underneath the signature Senator Kennedy himself wrote "Many thanks."

That's what I call good politics.