I found a letter that I wrote.
I found it in the future.
Love it when that happens.
August 4, 2021
Happy birthday, my man.
Yes it’s crazy to think that I’m in my mid 30s, but you just hit the big Six-O. (Don’t you dare think that’s old for a second, my beautiful mother has got you by a couple of years and is the only one that can give Michelle a run for her money.)
It’s been a minute since we last talked, but I am still very in tuned into your life. Did you actually give Apple permission to make the “Barack” app for the iPhone28 or did they just do it? Regardless, I pretty much know everything you’ve been up to since January 1st, 2017. That app aside, we have to do a better job of actually seeing each other in the months to come.
You probably have no idea about this, but I’ll never forget your 50th. It was August 4, 2011 (duh) and I was waiting to hear back from your re-election campaign, to see if they were going to offer me a position blogging. It was a Thursday and I remember refreshing my inbox every 5 seconds looking for that email. I went to sleep on the eve of your birthday thinking, maybe they’ll tell me on his birthday. I remember being at work all day on your 5oth, hoping every email refresh was the one that would change my life.
I never heard anything on your birthday. That was okay, though. I still had hope.
And wouldn’t you know it, Friday my dreams came true. I got it. BOOM.
And that was the beginning of my roller coaster ride with you for the next 5 and a half years.
I’ll never forget the call I got about 5 months into my tenure blogging for the campaign. Someone came over to my desk in Chicago and said, “Hey, you have a phone call. It’s the President”.
I had just written a post a few days prior that suggested my desire to play basketball on the campaign trail (along with my ability to dunk on Arne Duncan). Apparently you had some free time in your day, you read it, and decided to call me on my bluff. And 2 days later, I was wearing a pair of all White Air Force ones, my party shorts, and a lacrosse penny, was standing around half court with the basketball, all 8’2” of Arne was standing in the paint, and there you were, filming the entire thing, talking Kevin Garnett-ish trash to me.
At that moment, I knew 2 things. 1) The velocity at which Arne was about to block my entire body down to the concrete would be a feat in itself and 2) This was the greatest moment of my life.
I don’t know if you made the call or if someone else did, but I never made it back to the headquarters. I stayed on the campaign trail, blogging, hooping, and learning everything until November 2012. And after that, I started going to work in this big White building in Washington for the next 4 years.
In 2011, Columbia said I probably wouldn’t be able to come back for year 2.
In 2017, Columbia asked me if I’d would come back to finish my degree. I told them I was going to NYU, but thanks for everything.
You know Barack, I owe you a ton. Having said that, you owe me a little bit.
I mean, I did verbally swag you out for 16 months. I’m not saying I got you elected or anything, but had I not started that blog campaign to get you on Instagram, 500,000 hipsters across the country would not have voted for you. Promise.
I hope your 60s are a little more relaxing than your 40s and 50s. I know you’re considering it, but please don’t go on Dancing with the Presidents. It’s not that I don’t want to see you and Michelle twerk it out, but I think Carla and Sarkozy are a little too good. Should you take that slight dig as a challenge, I won’t be mad, but I’m genuinely looking out for you (and your tendonitis).
This letter is getting lengthy, but I wanted to check in with you, tell you thank you for everything, and most importantly say happy birthday.
All the best and if you and Michelle ever come to Atlanta in the near future, the four of us will DEFINITELY hit up MJQ and after that there’s a King-sized air mattress with y’alls name on it.
The Honorable Rembert Browne
Mayor of Atlanta
3425 Cascade Rd.
Atlanta, Georgia 30311