The Obama Watch

You’re Starting to Creep Me Out, First Family

Barack and Michelle, Joe and Dr. Jill -- spammers or stalkers?

By 12.5.11

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What do you do when the president, vice president, and first and second ladies won't stop harassing you? Before the last election, I signed up for updates from the Barack Obama campaign. They proceeded to spam me with e-mails, which is fine. But lately these messages have become stalker-y.

I don't wish to whine here. Democracy, especially in its current mass media, social network-driven form, is based upon the notion that we voters know exactly what we want and deserve to get it good and hard. And after all, one could argue, "Lott, you did sign up for this."

That's true, but let's be reasonable. Who could have known it would get this weird? I am fine with e-mails like this one:

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Michelle Obama

Re: Barack's Birthday

Or even this one:

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Jill Biden
Re: Sign Joe's card

Also, I have accepted that Joe Biden is going to send the occasional off-the-wall message because he's the veep and he's Joe Biden. Joe (we are, at Jill's urging, on a first name basis) will write to me occasionally to blow off steam:

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Joe Biden
Re: My wife

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Joe Biden
Re: Lately I've had it up to here

And Joe thoughtfully drops me a note now and again to let me know that it is going to be OK, that I'm not alone in this world, and that I can really Make a Difference:

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Joe Biden
Re: I've been there

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Joe Biden
Re: What's stopping you, right now?

The bottom line is that I am willing to deal with the vice president's slightly loopy letters because, hey, he's Joe. But lately I'm beginning to worry about the first couple. They're sounding so desperate that a restraining order may be in order.

The first of these emails came in June of this year; the last came last Thursday. They show no signs of slowing down:

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Barack Obama
Re: Dinner?

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Michelle Obama
Re: Gray hairs

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Barack Obama
Re: Frustrated

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Barack Obama
Re: Sometime soon, can we meet for dinner?

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Barack Obama
Re: If I don't call you

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Barack Obama

Re: You, me and … ?

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Barack Obama
Re: I'm bringing Michelle

To: Jeremy Lott
From: Michelle Obama
Re: Sometime soon, I want to meet you

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About the Author
Jeremy Lott is an editor of rare.us.