Hundreds of people are still writing letters to Hillary Clinton, and this one man is still reading them all
You might assume that the letters that come from politicians aren’t personal, but this one man still answering Hillary Clinton’s letters proves otherwise. Rob Russo has been a Clinton aide for over a decade, according to BuzzFeed News. He’s the Director of Correspondence and Briefings, which means that he puts together the binders Clinton used on the campaign trail and when she was Secretary of State. Clinton reads the letters he writes (she once told him to “cut down down the adjectives” when he used the word “fabulous”), but he’s the guy who’s in charge of composing them, putting them on letterhead, and making sure they’re up to her standards. He organizes everything about her paper trail.
On election night this past November, Russo was just as shocked as others who believed that Clinton would win. The next day he went back to his office to pack up his desk instead of putting the final touches on her first president-elect briefing binder and sent his boss an email saying that he was “here to help.” She accepted his offer.
This guy has been reading and responding to all of Clinton’s letters.
When he went a few weeks later to the office that handles Clinton’s mail, he was totally shocked to see bins and bins of letters from Clinton supporters. So while Clinton has been slowly making her way back into the public eye and everyone else adjusts to the new administration, Russo has been diligently responding to Clinton’s stacks of correspondence. Although Russo said that he’s written over 110,000 letters in her voice since 2008, he put off responding to the mail for a long time.
“Because I didn’t — I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t know what to say,” he said. Neither did Clinton, Russo said, but she was “insistent” that they were all answered. So he got cracking. There have been 100,000 so far and even one Thanksgiving turkey they threw out. If you think you’ve been having trouble processing the election results, imagine being the guy that has to read all of the heartfelt messages sent to the former candidate and respond to them. He says everything is different than it was during the campaign. Then, it was all about asking Clinton to do stuff, and also a lot of “coarse and horrifying” hate mail. Now, it’s all different. Ruby Cramer of BuzzFeed News wrote:
“Russo pulled out an unopened letter at random from one of the bins. It was three pages, handwritten. The ending read, I hope you know it’s OK to cry. We won’t tell anyone.”
So if you wrote a letter to Clinton after the election and haven’t received a response yet, know that it’s coming. And that there’s one guy running the whole show from a mail room somewhere in New York City. Maybe send him some hopeful fan mail, too. He could probably use a pick-me-up by now.