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President Obama To Spend A Day With Minn. Woman

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For one Minnesota woman, President Obama’s trip to Minnesota this week has extra-special significance.

St. Anthony resident Rebekah Erler wrote a letter to the president last March. And to her surprise, he’s responding in person.

“You never really think anyone is going to call you back,” Erler said. “But they did. My letter made it to his desk.”

Erler is an accountant and mother of two small boys. Her husband is a carpenter, but sometimes her family struggles to make ends meet.

“We live, you know, a pretty modest lifestyle. We budget, we clip coupons, we shop at two grocery stores because we know what costs less, where,” she said.

One night last March, Erler was frustrated paying the bills – more for her children’s daycare than for the mortgage.

“That was the moment when I really decided that, like, somebody has to say something about this. This is nuts,” she said.

Erler sent off the letter, one of thousands the White House receives every day, and forgot about it.

Now the president is coming to Minnesota to personally respond.

“I think it’s going to be wonderful for me to let Rebekah know that not only am I listening, but that she’s not alone out there,” President Obama said.

Erler says her family is happy, but she will tell the president she’s frustrated the economy is not improving more quickly.

“Overall, it’s frustrating that those things, those little extras that make you feel like you’re making it, being able to put money aside for your kids’ college, going on vacation, all those things, you know. You can’t do those anymore,” she said.

The White House invited Erler to meet the president at a town hall meeting in Minneapolis Thursday.

It is the first day of a two-day presidential visit that will focus on the economy.

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