Man Tells Obama to Quit Smoking – And He Writes Back


obama-smokingIt’s been 30 years since his dad died, and Michael Powers still misses him. That’s why he wrote to President Obama urging him not to smoke so he could be there for his daughters. Powers, 54, couldn’t believe it when Obama replied. “When I first got it, I thought, ‘Hey, he wrote this.’ ”

His note to the White House was one of 10 letters from ordinary Americans to be selected for Obama’s daily reading, according to the New York Times.

Powers, who calls himself a staunch Democrat, decided to write when he watched election night TV and heard Obama’s daughter greet him with a spirited “Hi, Daddy!”

“I think President Obama is the same way with his girls as my dad was with me,” Powers said. “Friends.”

President Barack Obama's letter to Michael Powers.
President Barack Obama's letter to Michael Powers.

Powers told Obama his dad, Benjamin, smoked three packs of cigarettes a day – and later died of lung, throat and bone cancer.

He enclosed a photo of his dad. It was returned in a sealed plastic bag with Obama’s reply, he said.

Powers, who attended what is now Waukegan High School, moved several years ago to Pikeville, Tenn. The Army veteran said he is on disability for heart problems. He said his dad worked for years at Skokie Valley Asphalt.

{ChicagoSunTimes/Elisha Newscenter}