According to ABC's Sunlen Miller, President Barack Obama (D) receives 65,000 snail mail letters and 100,000 emails each week. So, to help him stay in touch with the ordinary Americans who send them, Obama has decided to read 10 each week.
And how are these lucky 10 selected? At random, by dipping his hand in a huge mail sack and grabbing a few; turning on his computer and clicking on a few in the middle? Oh no, not quite so randomly, not quite so representative. The lucky chosen few are filtered extensively by a White House Director of Correspondence before the president's eyes gaze upon them.
White House Director of Correspondence Mike Kelleher has final say in the ten lucky letters chosen for the president's eyes.
"I sort through it, categorize it by issue and then every day I go though them and pick the ten that best represent what's happening right now," Kelleher says.
The letters are delivered to President Obama in a special red folder marked with "For the President: Correspondence."
Personal Secretary to the President Katie Johnson says every day the president responds to about 3 or 4 of the letters, written out by hand, every day.
With a touch of jealousy Ms. Miller admits that ABC News wanted to do a video about the process, with Obama reading and responding to a few of the letters. However the White House refused and now has complete control over the process, complete with a weekly video of the entire enterprise from mail truck, to pick up, to selection, to the president actually reading "representative" letters to the public with his carefully scripted responses.
So, write to the president and maybe your letter will be one of the lucky ones the president chooses to read to the American public. If the White House Director of Public Correspondence approves, of course.