Off the Record

Greta: Letter-writing in Washington is silly and pointless

'Off the Record', 10/24/13: Politicians in Washington always seem to send letters. But isn't that a waste of time? What about email? Or a good, old-fashioned conversation over the phone?


By Greta Van Susteren

Let's go "Off the Record" for a minute. In fact, let's go way off the record. We may get in trouble for this one. I don't know but you, but I think this Washington letter writing stuff is silly.

It doesn't work. Five-page letter gets drafted by Capitol Hill staffers, a letter filled with all sorts of statements, and often questions dodged by the White House. The letter gets passed around the House and the Senate to collect all those signatures.

As many as 20 to 30 senators or even House members' signatures could end up signing the letter, probably all done by those automatic signing pens. Then, with some pomp and circumstance, that letter gets fired off to the White House straight into the Oval oOfice and then, nothing. Absolutely nothing. The letter goes into a black hole. President Obama, he never answers it. We doubt any president has.

But, you know it doesn't stop there. Other officials get them, too. Nobody answers them. So maybe Capitol Hill should get the hint and stop writing the White House. Yes, I know. It does give us in the media something to talk about, doesn't it? I plead guilty. I take the bait all the time. I talk about the letters from Capitol Hill, I show them to you. I do that all the time.

But since we are talking "Off the Record," you have to admit that it does seem a bit like a dog and pony show sometimes, doesn't it? And that is my "Off the Record" commentary for tonight. And if you have an important story or issue you think I should take "Off the Record," go to and tell us about it.