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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 14, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Presidential partying

Let the Obamas have fun — they’ll need it

I could not have agreed more with most of the reasoning in Maureen Dowd’s opinion [“There’s nothing wrong with letting the Obamas have some fun,” seattletimes.com, Opinion, June 10]. To those who say that it is wrong for a president to take part in some of the things ordinary citizens enjoy in their leisure hours, I would say that we should look at the performance of past presidents who served during times of extreme national duress.

Franklin Roosevelt admirably led this country through its worst depression and most of World War II, yet still took time for his dog, his swimming pool and his afternoon cocktail hour. Perhaps his indulgence in a bit of relaxation helped stave off by a few years the stroke that killed him in 1945.

Abraham Lincoln did little else but agonize over the state of the union during the Civil War and is now acknowledged to have suffered from what we would call clinical depression. Had he not been assassinated, who knows how much further his mental state might have declined and how much the country would have suffered as a result.

If a bit of golf or some hamburgers help keep the president sane and focused, more power to him. And to this nation.

— Mary Stanik, Minneapolis, Minn.

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