I don’t pay much attention to politics. I do, however, pay some attention to my email. And to my dog. So when my dog started getting emails from Barack Obama’s campaign manager, I took notice.
Two days ago Amos, a Yorkiepoo, received this email:
Just wanted to make sure you knew that “60 Minutes” is airing an interview with President Obama tonight. It’s the only interview he gave this week, so I hope you take the time to tune in to CBS at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT. You can find your local CBS station here. Hope you’re enjoying your Mother’s Day weekend.
Obama for America
At some point, I must have signed a petition using my dog’s name. That, or my vet is selling her mailing list to the DNC.
I’m not really sure of Amos’ political leanings. I think he’d like any candidate who let him clean their plate with his tongue. Incidentally, this is also Berlusconi’s method of choosing politicians.
Still, I thought Amos might want to read the email. He was napping. I asked if he wanted to reply. He lifted his head, made a kind of half-bark/half-whine noise, and his head fell back to the ground.
I wrote what I thought he’d most likely say:
Messina wrote back:
Thank you for contacting Obama for America. This campaign is being built by people like you, and your input will always drive it.
An automated response? Perhaps. But I like to think that all the input is being syphoned into someone’s inbox somewhere. I may not have much of a voice in this system, but I’m glad I know someone who does.
This was not the first time that Obama has reached out to Amos. Their epistolary relationship started last summer. In July, Obama wrote:
When you and I set out on this journey three years ago, we knew that ours would be a lengthy struggle to build a new foundation for this country—one that would require squaring off against the special interests who had spent decades stacking the deck in their favor.
In October, he wrote with the subject heading: “I want to meet Amos.” In the body of that email, he revealed that they had actually already met. Apparently, he’d met multiple Amoses.
Two years ago, I met 10 of you.
Just before I accepted our party’s nomination in front of 80,000 people in Denver, I spoke with 10 grassroots supporters who had won a trip to meet me backstage.
Amos and the President do have the kind of things in common that would encourage a friendship. Both are black. Both have U.S. birth certificates. In December, in an email regarding the senate’s vote to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” he disclosed a statement that Amos, too, could have uttered.
“This victory is also personal.” he wrote. “I will never know what it feels like to be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation.”
Delving yet deeper into my inbox, I found that he was also receiving correspondence from David Plouffe and Michelle Obama. In August, Michelle emailed Plouffe to ask if he’d join the 1,266,611 people who had already signed a birthday card for her husband. According to his email, Plouffe passed on the request and then sent it along to Amos.
Amos appears to have complied. The next email I see in my Gmail archives:
Thank you for adding your name to the birthday card for the President.
Or, you can just forward the email below.
I just added my name to a birthday card that the Obamas are giving the President for his 49th birthday on Wednesday, August 4th.
It’s a great way to help make it a memorable birthday for him, and to show we’re ready to stand alongside him, fighting for change in the year ahead.
I can’t say he’s ever remembered my birthday. But then again, we can’t all be the leader of the free world.
If Obama ever campaigns near Amos’ dog bed, I’m certain he’ll be met with wags and licks. And I’d bet he’d even take free handouts from the government, if they came in the form of Milk Bones. Some dogs, however, wouldn’t go that far.