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article imageThe most common word written to President Obama revealed

By Tim Sandle     Nov 19, 2016 in Politics
Washington - Thousands of people write (or email) the U.S. president each day, making serious points, requests for information or bizarre statements. An analysis of the correspondence has revealed the most commonly used word.
The letters and emails sent to the White House are reviewed by The Office of Presidential Correspondence (a department formed in 1897.) So many letters, parcels and messages are received each day that the department has 45 permanent staff, 35 interns, and up to 300 volunteers, headed-up by Fiona Reeves, who is the Director of Presidential Correspondence at the White House.
While many of the messages do not progress very far, or they are handed over to different government bureaus for further action, President Obama has, for his eight years in office, requested that ten letters be selected and given to him to read each evening, according to a podcast broadcast by The Slate. More about the letter section process and the work of the office has been captured in the following video:
The letters Obama reads are those considered by his staff to be in tune with America's issues and concerns. The website 99percentvisible quotes from President Obama on his reading of the letters. Here Obama says “these letters, I think, do more to keep me in touch with what’s going on around the country than just about anything else."
President Obama adds "some of them are funny. Some of them are angry. A lot of them are sad or frustrated about their current situation.”
One interesting statistic from the letters is that the word most commonly written is "help." Perhaps this frames the scope of subjects covered in letters to the president, which include employment (and unemployment); concerns about major political, social, and environmental issues including drug policy, gun violence and climate change.
With Obama's forthcoming departure, the White House is intending to keep the “Contact Us” form open through the last day of the Administration, January 19th 2017. On that final night, President Obama will be given his final ten letters to read. Whether in-coming President elect Donald Trump will continue with this tradition remains to be seen.
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