Whether they were reaching out for help or just wanting to share their story, thousands of people each day wrote to former US president Barack Obama while he was in power.
Providing an insight into the workings of Obama in her book To Obama: With Love, Joy, Hate and Despair, American journalist Jeanne Marie Laskas shined a light on what the former president was like behind the scenes.
Combing through thousands upon thousands of letters each day, the journalist revealed in her book how a team of staff, interns and volunteers would select the most emotional and touching ones to pass on to the president.
Some were desperate for help and fearful for the future while others were thanking Obama for the work he was doing and commitment to the country.
“In some cases, people were sending in their mortgage statements, their bills, saying ‘help what is this? This bank is foreclosing on me and here’s what I owe’ – sometimes it was that specific,” the ABC reported Laskas said.
“But oftentimes it was just many stories of people in a moment of despair, having just lost a loved one, a soldier, suicide for example — and they turned to write to the President, which so interested me.”
According to Laskas the letters helped to build Obama’s connection with the people of America, especially those who needed the most help.
From a young boy who was about to be adopted to a woman who said Obama was creating hope, and others who believed the president would not last in the top position, Laskas details many of the emotional letters in her book.
While Obama is no longer in power, many are still intrigued by the now 57-year-old and his presidency. Only recently one of the former president’s staff members revealed which one of the Aussie leaders Obama didn’t get on with.
Speaking to The Australian, Ben Rhodes, lifted the lid on Obama’s relationships with all four prime ministers who resided in the Lodge during Obama’s two terms in office, between 2009 and 2017.
Describing their relationship as “very difficult”, Rhodes revealed it was actually former leader of the Liberal Party Tony Abbott who Obama struggled to form a bond with, due to their opposing political views.