Dear President Obama: Please Stay Close

19 Jan

obama speakingA tear-stained face is not a great way to start a morning commute. But as I watched you give the Medal of Freedom to Ellen Degeneres (and now Vice President Biden), I was reminded of what a great orator you are.

So while I was getting ready for work, I decided to pull up your eulogy of Rev. Clementa Pinckney after the 2015 Charleston shooting.

As a South Carolina native and lover of the city of Charleston, this event shook me to my core. Even though the event has long since passed, I couldn’t bring myself to listen to this speech when it happened. I just kept picturing the moment when I found out, and I could do nothing but cry.

I think at one point, I briefly saw a video of you singing “Amazing Grace,” but that was it. Today, I finally listened to it. When I was getting ready for work and then in my car on the way there, I began to cry. I began to think about what a horrible time that was for South Carolina, and you reminded me of how we triumphed after that tragic day.

And like many people before me, I will say, “I will miss you.” Yes, I’ve giggled at all of the jokes calling for a third term and the intimate moments with you and Vice President Biden being turned into silly memes.

Yes, I wanted Biden to run and I want Michelle to run. These are sentiments so many people share today. You were my favorite president not simply because you and your family resemble mine. But because you represented all of us. You were straightforward and stern yet kind and friendly.

Many folks like me who consider themselves progressives but also have some conservatism in their ideology weren’t always happy with how things have turned out over the past eight years. But I am in awe of what you’ve managed to accomplish under possibly the most intense scrutiny and unwarranted prejudice a president has ever had to endure.

So, you may see me chant or use #4MoreYears jokingly, but in my heart of hearts, I know that can’t happen. So I humbly request that you stay with us. Even if it’s through social media, blogging, book writing or the occasional event appearance, please stay in our lives.

I know once you leave the White House your primary focus will be on Michelle and your children. They’re still so young and you are probably brimming with excitement over being with them in a more normal capacity.

So now I’ll spend more time listening to speeches of yours that I’ve missed or or those I wish to hear again.

Please don’t disappear. Please don’t fade into the spotlight forever. Now, more than ever, we need you. We need your words of hope and encouragement and your commitment to serving the American people.

And my only consolation and hope is that once your presidency ends, you can become more vocal and more visible than you have been. I hope this will increase your accessibility to the American people and those around the world who admire, love and respect you. God bless you, Mr. President.

Not long after I wrote this, I saw this post, which echoes my sentiments. It’s extremely well-written!

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