To celebrate President Obama’s final months at The White House, a Facebook Messenger chatbot has been set up so people can send a letter to the President the same way you can message Pizza Hut or talk to a dinosaur.
Every night, President Obama reads 10 letters that were sent to him by citizens. It has been a part of his daily routine since taking office in 2009. It’s a tradition for Presidents to read citizen letters since Thomas Jefferson was in office back in the 1800s.
These 10 “letters a day” — or 10 LADs, as they’re known to staff — do more to keep the President in touch with what’s happening around the country than just about anything else. “It ends up being a powerful motivator for me,” he has said.
“Getting a word in with the President has always been one of the White House’s most popular citizen services,” White House chief digital officer Jason Goldman wrote in a blog post.
“As President Obama himself has pointed out, ‘Abraham Lincoln was able to have regular office hours where people would come and wait outside his office, which was over in the residence.’ Face-to-face time is a little harder to come by these days, but technology makes it possible for anyone with an internet connection to send a message to the president and his administration.”