A presidency of smiles or serious work?

Thursday, March 18, 2010; A18

Regarding Fred Hiatt's March 15 op-ed, "Obama's happiness deficit":

I am one of many citizens who voted for President Obama because we believed he was a serious thinker who would apply his abilities to the relentless and stress-filled tasks of the presidency. I, for one, am "grateful to him for taking on the burden," and I certainly don't need him to sing "Don't Worry, Be Happy" while he's doing it.

It was Abraham Lincoln, not a barrel of laughs during his demanding presidency, who said, "People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." I am constantly impressed that Mr. Obama can still keep up that winning smile and charming conviviality, despite the often oppressive dilemmas he was elected to address.

Kate McClintic, Washington


I enjoyed Fred Hiatt's March 15 column, and I believe he is on to something. But I can't believe he cited FDR and JFK for their "good cheer" and "jauntiness" without mentioning the most cheerful, jaunty one of them all: Ronald Wilson Reagan. No one brought more joyful enthusiasm to the White House than the Gipper.

Hank Cox, Takoma Park

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