An Open Letter to the Next President

Dear Mr. President,

By the close of today you will know your responsibility for the next four years.  You will shoulder a burden of leadership that very few will ever bear.  You will be stretched, strengthened, broken and bruised more than you thought humanly possible.  I suspect there will be many days when you would prefer to walk away.  There will be other days when the joy of a significant moment will make it all seem worth it.

I can’t pretend to completely understand what it feels like to walk in your shoes.  I will probably never understand the level of pressure you endure, the agonizing decisions you face or the extreme loneliness and isolation you must feel.  But I do know that leadership involves all those things and the higher the leadership responsibility, the greater the degree of those stresses.

I’m sorry that a race for the Presidency is convoluted with political drama.  Rather than the merit of your leadership ability, it seems we judge you on your appearance and ability to woo a crowd.  The charisma that got you to this position is only a fraction of the abilities that are essential to lead us well.

We expect a lot from you.  We want you to be charming, handsome and charismatic.  We never want to see you sweat.  We all believe we can do your job better than you can and we are quick to tell you so.  We want you to make brilliant decisions everyday all day and we want those decisions to be ones that we all agree with.  We realize that’s impossible, but we expect it nonetheless.  We want you to be caring and compassionate but we also want you to be strong and stable.  We want you to fix all our problems without making us uncomfortable.  We want you to be our hero and our savior.  We want you to fix problems that many of us share the responsibility for creating.  We want you to fix problems that other leaders have created and we want you to do it now.  We’re impatient, intolerant, entitled and spoiled.

I’m tempted to apologize for those expectations but honestly I’m pretty sure you understand them and you still chose to lead us anyway.

May you rise to the challenge.  May God equip you with wisdom, humility and grace.

I commit to pray for you as you lead us these next four years.


Jenni Catron

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  • Heidi Menges November 6, 2012  


  • Tammy November 6, 2012  

    Jenni – Wonderful letter.  Thank you for sharing and for the reminder that we all are human.  

  • Dad November 6, 2012  

    Great letter Jenni, and choice of words.  Every American should read and relate.

  • turner_bethany November 6, 2012  

    Love this. Thanks for writing it. 

  • baylormum November 6, 2012  

    This is so perfect in our imperfect world. 

  • Kent Williams November 6, 2012  

    Beautifully said, Jenni.  Well done!

  • paulaswift November 6, 2012  


  • paulaswift November 6, 2012  

    Sing it sista!

  • Marcia Ramirez November 7, 2012  

    BEAUTIFULLY written girl!!  Love it!!

  • brianfalexander November 7, 2012  

    YES! *Head Nod*

  • Mark Brewer November 19, 2012  

    What a great post.  Thanks for sharing this.