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If you write Obama a letter, he might send you a personal check

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Barack Obama writing a letter

It might be the hopey-changiest thing you've read about Barack since 2008. According to an excerpt from a new book about the president, when he's particularly moved by the economic hardships of an American citizen, Obama often sends them some of his own money to help out.

Obama makes a point of reading ten letters every day, and responding to them — in order to keep connected to the public (or at least the schizophrenics and the 9/11-denying nutcases who I imagine send the most mail to the president). And, according to a new book, when the president is especially affected by stories of economic hardship, he'll often mail a personal check to help them out. The Washington Post quoted the president saying:

“Some of these letters you read and you say, ‘Gosh, I really want to help this person, and I may not have the tools to help them right now,’ ” the president said. “And then you start thinking about the fact that for every one person that wrote describing their story, there might be another hundred thousand going through the same thing. So there are times when I’m reading the letters and I feel pained that I can’t do more, faster, to make a difference in their lives.”

How exactly this works is unclear. Do you get an actual check with "Barack Obama" signed at the bottom? And if so, isn't it probably a better idea to frame the check and auction it off than to cash it? However it works, it's a sweet reminder of the charismatic, community-organizing president everyone fell in love with in 2008. 

On the other side of the spectrum, Herman Cain, if elected president, has vowed to mail every poor American a dirty mirror and an old rubber boot, so they can gaze into their own sorry eyes and then kick themselves in the ass.