Man sells mail from Obama after losing job
August 16th, 2011
03:33 PM ET

Man sells mail from Obama after losing job

By CNN National Desk Editor Kevin Conlon

A handwritten letter from President Obama will be sold at an auction in California Tuesday. It’s expected to fetch up to $12,000 according to Nate Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles. But it is not the first time this particular piece of presidential history has been bought or sold.

Obama’s letter, written in black ink on White House stationary, reads: “Tim – Thanks for your letter. I share your sentiments, and we are moving as quick as we can to restore some common sense to the financial system. Barack Obama".

CNN tracked down the ‘Tim’ Obama wrote to find out the history behind the correspondence.

Tim Mullin, then a window and door salesman in Lynchburg, VA, says he wrote the President that he was concerned about the economy and the financial crisis, and was ‘in a state of shock’ when he got the personal response.

That was in 2009.

If things have soured on the economic front for the president since that exchange, it has been worse on Mr. Mullin. In fact he says, the last two and a half years “have been hell.”

A month after receiving Obama’s letter, Mullin lost his sales job. Not long after that, his health insurance.

Unemployed and back in his hometown in the Fort Lauderdale area, Mullin, 58, was then diagnosed with melanoma.  Unable to afford the surgery, he looked at the one thing he owned that might be of value: a hand written letter from a U.S. President.

Mullin sold his rare piece of presidential memorabilia to a collector in New York, earning almost enough to pay for the removal of the cancerous tumor from his nose, but for far less than what Nate Sanders expects to sell it for today.

When asked to assess the president’s words about the economy in 2009 in comparison to today, Mullin, who says he does not identify with either party, and who is also nearing the end of his unemployment insurance benefits, says “we are worse off now than when I wrote the letter. Hell, I wish he’d write me another one.”

Topics: Economy • President Obama • The Buzz

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Mark

    Thanks for voting

    August 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  2. Maggie

    If he wrote you another letter, it will be worth NIL right now. His words mean nothing anymore.

    August 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • jindal

      yours either. lol

      August 17, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  3. JoeyDee


    August 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Jaye

      Really, weren't Dems controller WH, Senate and Congress since 3 years ago? From 8% unemployment to 9%+ now? Dems? Dem got WH and Senate? Oh, they want more..more..more..socilaist control that didn't work

      August 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
      • felicia


        August 17, 2011 at 8:46 am |
      • donald

        Yes they did have control for 2 years actually. And during that time they improved things drastically.

        When Obama took office we were losing over 700,000 jobs PER MONTH!

        We have now had 17 consecutive months of private sector jobs growth.

        August 17, 2011 at 11:04 am |
      • jean2009

        Although they had control of the House they didn't have control of the senate when Bush was president. Plus, the Senate still does not have enough to stop a filibuster for the last three years.

        August 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  4. Pattha


    Yes because for the first two years of his presidency he had Dems over both houses of Congress and he still had beg and plead with Congress for over a year to get Affordable Health Care Act passed and it came at the expense of many other policy issues that were ignored and/or pushed to the wayside. What makes you think he would do any better this time. He's a great speech maker and a lousy leader. Face it.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • jean2009

      Someday you will thank President Obama for the Affordable Health Care Act. You don't know it now but you will. And took more time than was necessary, but then he didn't have a Senate with a super majority, and he had a bunch of right-wing conservative Blue Dog democrats (who are really Republicans) to deal with.

      As a matter of fact, if health care was not a priority under Bush why did his administration write the Iraqi Constitution and guarantee each Iraqi universal health care, plus he put up $950Million of our taxpayer's money to fund universal health care (cradle to grave care) for each Iraqi citizen. $950 Million is $50 Million less than a $1Billion.

      Read: Mark Dorlester's " Guaranteed Health Care For Iraq-But Not For You" Read Article 31 of the Iraqi Constitution. Both can be found online.

      What Every Bagger says is that is "socialist" medicine, but the Bush Administration wrote it right into the Iraqi Constitution and paid for it with our tax dollars.

      Where were you then? Why were you not crying then about the wasteful spending then? Or, how about the fact that 2.6 million jobs were lost in 2008, that TARP was passed in 2008, that the Auto bailout happened in 2008 all signed by President Bush.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  5. joan

    Obama fatal mistake was that he tried to worked with the Republican. Because he wants to please the us all. We said that we wanted himt of fix Washington and for both parties to work together. He thought he was dealing with reasonable people and let the first 2 years run out waiting on them to come on board. When he had the majority house he should have passed and implement the things to bring the country back. So that was his mistake being descent and want bi-partisan. You all now see that the Republican prefer to see the people and country destroy in order to win in 2012. Wake up American especially the poor and middle class they don't care about us. They believe that the rich should be richer and the poor, poorer.

    August 16, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • John

      39% approval – fine job...

      August 17, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  6. JMullin

    I'm Tim's sister...and I'll be honest in saying up front, I don't know much at all about the "in's and out's"...of Politics...but I'm so proud and in awe of my Brother ...for ALL the times he's been vocal about the going's on in our Country since he first went to Viet Nam back in the early 70's (as a teenager)...and has done everything in his power as an American citizen to make "a difference". My hats off to you Tim....keep on keeping on Bro!!

    August 17, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Thanks Jean for your usual illustrous wealth of information to the uninformed and the beligerent.

    August 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  8. Bruce

    Has anyone noticed that when the Republicans loss the house in 2008 the economy took an upswing and now that they have the majority back (in the house) the economy is going bad AGAIN!! WAKE UP AMERICA. We need a Dem majority in the house and a Super majority in the Senate (so they won't have power to filibuster everything...every idea). Then and only then will this country get back on track. It's the Republicans Stupid!!!

    September 6, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  9. tony

    I have an item even more unique than that. I too need to sell because of the economy. 😦 Obama's still has my vote!! No Doubt!!!

    September 8, 2011 at 1:04 am |