.
April 26th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

Dear President Obama #97: Report Card Notice

Reporter's Note: You would think President Obama would have more advisors than he knows what to do with. I mean, doesn’t everyone want to chat up the President? Nevertheless, he’s asked for advice from the citizens of the United States, and I’m responding with a letter a day.

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Your predecessor, or as he’s known in some Democratic circles “He who shall not be named,” made it a point of pride to say he paid no attention to polls. At times it is hard to imagine two Presidents more different from each other than you and Mr. Bush, but on that front, I think he was on to something.

Hold on! Don’t toss this one into the shredder just yet. Sure, it’s fair to say that maybe President Bush took it a tad too far. While he was busy taking one road, the rest of the country was heading another way, and arguably if he’d listened just a wee bit more his fellow Americans he would not have turned his party into the political equivalent of a auto salvage lot. (Mind you, Republicans have a remarkable way of bouncing back, and as much as your Dem pals may be hoping they stay on the wreck heap, I would not count on that.)

The point is, I’m sure you’ve heard all the typing going on out here in Media-land, (or as I like to call it, Oz) as everyone prepares their assessments of your first 100 days in office. You’re still riding high in the public approval ratings, so you know a lot of them are going to be generally positive. Or at least they’ll start that way. Then the nibbling will begin. They praise your quick action on the economy, then point out all the potential problems looming. They’ll laud your firm words on Iraq, then wring their hands over Afghanistan; which, I have to admit, I’m wringing my own hands over. You get the picture.

I don’t have any idea how much of that stuff you’ll read. But I know my daughters sometimes get a little tense when report card time comes around, and I always tell them the same thing. Don’t worry about it. Do your best. Learn every day, and trust that you’ll prove your merit when testing time comes. Pay attention to your grades, but only as general guide to make sure you are not straying too far from the path.

The measure of your Presidency will be its entire run, not just the first hundred days. I hope your Sunday is going well. If you are up for a game of hoops, give me a buzz…and I’ll school ya! Ha!

Regards,

Tom

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. bill

    mr presedent i really dont know how you cope with everyday life with a wonderful family and your job at hand the problems in the world are to much to commprehend never the less 1 to 10 i rate your job 9 because you deserve to be recogognized as 1 of the greatest presedents of all time god bless you and your familly,keep up the good work

    April 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  2. Sally

    well mr President for your first 100 days i grade you A + for all you are doing and done so far my only advice dont let washington change you but rather change washington.I know its tough times especially on the economy and we americans can be impatient but keep on working and by gods grace the economy will turn around always stay positive like you have go with your gut feeling is refreshing to hear from you especially seeing the Republicans whine and say no to everything gosh its so depressing when i hear them on tv 8 yrs of gloom and they still whine and complaine Party of Gloom i call them and if they dont take care they will not see the white house for the next 16 to 20 years i can tell you right now

    April 27, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  3. Donna J.

    Mr. President, I could not more proud of you. God walks with you daily and he will continue to walk with throughout your presidency. We have needed someone like you for a long time. I watched you from the time you announced your presidency up until the present. You and Mrs Obama are a breath of fresh air to this starved nation. I will continually support you and keep you in by prayers. You have shown this nation what a compassionate and sincere person is. I pray for you and your family everyday. Good Luck with Bo!

    April 27, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  4. Terry, TX

    Grade D...you went for me...from a low B maybe high C....now a D. I have no problem explaining why? I don't have politicians as heroes. When you released memos of interrogation and pictures...didn't even appeal..
    when you insulted wounded veterans (insurance scandel) and put the citizens you did on a terror list as well as returning veterans. Next President please.

    April 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  5. Nicholas Orzio

    The racists are NOT the Bush followerss but the Obama followers. Just look at the white House staff. All Nothings...like The Prez...NO Experience...No foresight...No Talent...Dishonest Tax-Cheating nobodies who Think they're somebody special...Advocating same sex bull...anti-religion..anti American Socialists who wouldn't know a days work if it hit them in the head. Give my America to the immigrants who don't even want to learn your language...ive them my Social Security money...Give them the free education that I broke my back toprovide to my kids. Ifought in TWO wars for MY country. My New President doesn't even know what a uniform looks like. The Only talent our New Prez has is a mouth..He likes to throw the bull...Just words that let him Think he's qualified....Believe this old man, HE IS NOT...You'l see!!!

    April 27, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  6. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    It is still early--and you have a long way to go--but always remember--experience is a tough teacher--you always get the "test" first--–and the "lesson" second.

    April 27, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  7. RLWellman

    Dear Mr. President,
    It's so sad when the Democrats don't care how much money you spend or what bills you sign just because they are Democrats. President Bush spent lots of money, is that why you have spent more money then all the other Presidents together from Washington to Bush? Is this a game to see who can spend more?
    Democrats must like being puppets and letting you pull all their strings. As for us Republicans, we like to be able to run our own lives, keep the Government small as possible, pay our own mortgages-not someone elses, and we certainly don't want the U.N. to tell us how to raise our kids!

    April 27, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  8. Jackie

    I don't thinks the president should a grade any better than a F. He is not doing what is best for the country overall. He has been causing us much greater problems in the future. He has worked for his leftist group of his supporters, not for all people. He has basically sold us out by spending too much money. While the Republicans had a deficit, it was also the Democrats who helped contribute to this deficit, but they won't admit it because the whole idea is to blame Bush. Bush's biggest problem is that he didn't put the Democrats and Republicans in their place and didn't veto enough of the programs. Obama passed a stimulus bill that he didn't write (Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, and other Democrats wrote) and then he signed it. Big mistake. Our economy has suffered more in his short term because he isn't handling it properly. I resent Acorn getting my tax dollars when they don't represent me, I resent him signing the abortion bill and spending my tax dollars. I don't like the idea that I am going to have to pay more taxes after 2012 because of the big spending and to try and balance a budget when there is no money available, only money to make interest payments. We are bankrupt by all this spending. Also, I don't want anyone to think I'm racist, because I make my judgments by the content of the person, not by any race. I'm for all good people, and I'm not for people who have no consideration for those around them, but only themselves. I also believe that we better be very careful and understand what is going on around you and not just follow a peid piper.

    April 27, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  9. Janice Jackson

    I agree with the letter. He will be rated on overall performance later. What is so important about "100 days" anyway? Who picked that number?
    I, for one, am glad to see that he is always turning over a new leaf on what he sees as previous "wrong way to do things", and "wrong way to think" about things. His insight is always brilliant. He seems to be out for as much fairness as possible.

    April 27, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  10. Bill Baxtor

    Dear dear Mr. Obama
    Here is yor ureprot card to take home to grandma in Sudan
    Family morals F-
    Morals in General F-F-
    Economy F-F-F-
    Security F- F- F-F-
    International Policy F- F- F- F- F-
    Transparency PROMISED INCOMPLETE!
    CHANGE AND ACCOUNTABILTY PROMISED F- INCOMPLETE
    You are and will ALWAYS be known as, the absolute worst MISTAKE AMERICANS EVER MADE!

    April 27, 2009 at 6:31 am |
  11. Tina

    So far, Pres. Obama and his administration seems to be making moves toward attracting good karma to America, and hopefully we will all do our part to help make that happen. Pres. Obama and his group can't do it alone.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:56 am |
  12. John Martin

    So many Negative Nancys and Nathans. Look at what he has accomplished, not at what he hasn't had time to do. It took us 8 years to get to this point. Obama is not a god, he can't work an overnight miracle and bring us back to the 'good ole days', although he is doing it at a faster rate than anyone should expect.

    Is he making some mistakes? Maybe. Is he doing the best he can? Maybe. Is he on the right track? Absolutely.

    A definite A+ from this blogger.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:43 am |
  13. ulla

    i am italien so not directly involved in american poltics but i follow CNN daly
    My comment is tha barack obama is a men who dont follow only his mind but also (what not many politicians do ) his heart....what helps him to be intuitive what is the best quality of a president
    so i say only good luck brother

    April 27, 2009 at 3:19 am |
  14. Lorraine

    HI there, I am in nz, I was watching the white house report last night on the out break of swine flu, I noticed they said that the president was in no danger on his trip to mexico as his trip was last week, well i have been looking on the net and it states that the first person to die was 2 weeks ago, so there for he was at just as much risk as everyone else is at catching what is now an airborn virus, why make such comments (the white house that is) when most of the worlds population can figure out how to work out dates, do they think we are all stupid?

    April 27, 2009 at 2:19 am |
  15. Summer

    I'm reading this and all I read is blah blah blah blah blah. He hasn't really done that much in the past 100 days...except allow his wife to spread her fashion sense. The economy is still bad, we are still in a war, our debt is higher than it has ever been, and the Democrats just slammed their own hands in the torture cookie jar. He is doing okay, I guess, I just wish he would quit blaming the Bush Administration for everything and take a chunk of the responsibility that lies within his own party. And for the people that have been making the comments of the Republican party being racist and making a mess of everything on purpose...what are we in high school now? They are not racist and Obama is only half black. President Bush did not have some evil plot to wake up every morning thinking of what he could do that day that would ensure the next President's failure, at the risk of dragging his own name through the mud. Please... As far as empathy and listening skills go...he (Obama) has ignored every person that has tried to convince him that abortion is wrong, and that gay marriage goes against God's plan for marriage...not a good listener. He has shown no empathy or sympathy for President Bush and his family...he continually slams him and smiles when others do it...not empathetic. Shaking hands with a leader that is notorious for his evilness...not conducting himself in a good manner. People are still losing their jobs, and the leadership roles Obama has filled with crooks do not show great intelligence. I really do hope that our country gets everything together and (as much as it hurts to say it) I hope that President Obama succeeds...for our children's sake. Good grief people...get over your star-struck glare and see what is really going on here. He is just another President who promised a lot of stuff that he is now realizing he might not be able to pull off. He's not God and he's not the only thing America should be looking to! End!

    April 26, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  16. Rick St Thomas

    …the firemen were frantically working to put out the fire in City hall and save the building. Some bystanders were heard to exclaim: “Those firemen are using way too much water! We already had a water shortage and they’re just making it worse. Our children and granchildren wil be on water rationing for years, even decades to come. It’s completely irresponsible to be using water like that.”

    April 26, 2009 at 11:44 pm |
  17. Synithia

    President Obama gets AAAAA++ he is really giving it his all doing new things in the White House I voted for him im proud of him KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

    April 26, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  18. Carmen Pietraallo

    My coments for president obama first 100 days I think he"s done a great job,I"m really happy and proud the way he"s handling and doing every think he promissed and i"m sure he"ll acomplish all of his promisses, he"s the only president thats done so much in just a short time in office and I could"t be more proud of my president and you deserve an A++ because I know it hasn"t been easy for you since you took offce, I myself been following your first 100 days with CNN 24-7 my no. 1 favorite news channel keep up the good and excellent work God bless you and your wonderful familly. and God Bless AMERICA.
    '

    April 26, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  19. James Timbers

    Mr. President. I think you've brought class back to the white house...and definitely intellect and motivation. So, in general for leadership I give you a strong A. I really can not grade you on the economy or anything else that hasn't had the opportunity to play out. I'll give you a mid term grade on the Economy of a B, because regardless of some complex 'sticking points' from the opponents, confidence seems to be returning and there is a bit more money in my pocket which is helping.

    I know that it won't take nearly as long for you to repair our image in the world and secure our infrastructure, as it took for G Dub to tear it all apart.

    April 26, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  20. David

    Obama's first 100 days, so far so good but is he biting on more than he can chew???

    April 26, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  21. Annie Kate

    First 100 days – Obama has started quite a few things but they are all going to take time to see how they pan out, especially the economy. He does try to keep the American people more in the loop on what is going on so that's an improvement. And he is trying to keep his campaign promises – but like anyone that gets to be President is probably finding out that its easy to promise on the campaign but quite a different thing to get it past congress. I'm just very pleased that he is taking the environment as a serious issue and trying to come up with solutions that will help in several areas – climate change, economy, jobs, etc. His appreciation of the inter-relatedness of all the issues is impressive.

    April 26, 2009 at 9:33 pm |
  22. Kelli V.

    the most important for me is he has raised american respect in the world. i travel and it was embarrassing the past few years living in other countries and facing their shock and hate of americans because of our failed leadershop not because of our humanity

    April 26, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
  23. Karen Meier

    F on the economy, but A+ on wild spending

    F on foreign affairs, but A+ on apologizing for this country

    F on security, but A+ on letting our enemies know our plans

    April 26, 2009 at 8:47 pm |
  24. Nadia

    A+
    Happy 100 days Mr. President.
    n.

    April 26, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  25. pat hanson

    Why do you keep asking that hitler-like evil D. Cheney about the torture memos???? Of course he's going to defend his decision to torture people. He's only trying to save his own skin. I believe the people have a right to know what went on and why it happened. WE, the American People are not evil like this. And I resent the Bush Admin. doing such things in the name of us.

    April 26, 2009 at 8:20 pm |
  26. Rachel

    Mr President, for your first 100 days, you receive an A+, for Integrity, Intelligence, Empathy, Listening skills, and conducting yourself in a manner that is a huge plus for the United States of America, you will be remembered for the entire 8 years of your term...so continue doing you, and God bless and protect you and your family, God bless the United States of America

    April 26, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  27. Andrew

    President Obama, Democrats & Republicans...

    As an example of bipartisanship - The American People will compromise too...
    Combine Medicare and Medicade with Universal Healthcare.
    Offer it to all Americans. They can choose any doctor they wish to.
    Charge a standard copay upon visit and for also for Rx.
    Do this at the state level using valid state issued identification (i.e. state id or drivers license but NOT with federal health cards). Allow the states to run these programs but utilize a standardized system.

    KEEP YOUR TAX CREDITS AND GIVE US HEALTH CARE

    Just how many people actually get to use these TAX CREDITS that file with a 1040EZ form? Not a whole lot. We dont want or need all of these tax credits.

    April 26, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  28. Marilyn

    I do feel sorry for his kids, grades do matter in school, wait till college comes up . It seems every one is waiting in a crouch to jump on the President, when he has so much on his shoulder he could not possibly jump out of the way. I am amazed at political analysists who seem to have ALL the answers in order to fill radio and TV time. His decision to uproot the last presidential leader who complete denied what this country stands for – opps, or used to stand for, in the way of rights and laws and did everything HIS way along with our illustrous
    political leaders – some from all parties – no matter what the result to our own reputation and stand in the world and within our own country,
    from deceit, dirty politics and who knows what all. We DO NEED TO
    KNOW what is going on when we elect someone as our leader or just what the heck are we to do when we try to judge who to vote for anywhere? We MUST call on honesty and cleaner politics for ourselves and our country. We are treated as if we are STUPID –
    if we don't understand how these people CANNOT BE TRUSTED

    April 26, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  29. jaime cota

    My wife and I are small business owners and by the time you read this letter we will be ex-small business owners. why because US BANK decided to cancel the loans that they had said they were going to lend us for our business. Here is our situation last year my wife and decided to open our own business and we went through US BANK to get all of our loans and at the beginnig US BANK was realy nice helping us out, we got the first loan to buy the building. However, the building needed some upgrades so, we went back to US BANK to get another laon to make those upgrades, we were apruved up to $80.000 dls and that is what we needed to make all the impruvements. So we went ahead with the impruvements, we hierd contractors to do the jobs. But as the year went on US BANK was dragging its feet telling us that "yes your loans is being done. Well we recived $25.000 out of $80.000 so that was a start. we paid some of the contractors. But with that amount we coudn't pay all of them so, we started to pay the rest of the contractors with our working capital because we knew that they needed to be paid and because US BANK hat told us that the loan was coming. well to make the story short US BANK at the end decided no to give us the rest of the loan and now we can't finish paying the rest of the contractors and we don't have any working capital. The sad thing is that we are not the only ones affected by the decision of US BANK but all the contractors we couldn't pay and the people that the contractors couldn't pay. My question is why is the stimulus helping big business and banks and not small business like our, where do we fit? i saw areport on the news about a cauple asking their state represenatives to help them and they recived help. I wrote ot our represenatives here in IDAHO and i was told "WHY ARE YOU WRITING TO US WE CAN'T HELP YOU. So whom can small business owners like ourselfs turn to for help.

    thank
    Jaime

    April 26, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  30. Lynn Marie

    I liked Obama when he was running-a bright young man with new ideas and good intentions...
    I am sorry to say after the first 100 days-for the first time in my life
    I feel afraid to be in America
    -I feel"unsafe" like never before.

    Obama consistantly goes against his advisors opinions..
    and seems to be holding on to a deep grudge against our former President.

    Its over YOU WON have some dignity and class and let it go.

    The Obama who I felt was a warm loving man now looks and feels cold to me-
    I just read a quote in TIME mag where one of his workers said
    ""he is not sentimental-when he has no more use for you he cuts you off"
    OUCH!
    I hope in time-if we have any left-you will be different
    -more experienced and open to your fellow man
    even when you disagree

    April 26, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  31. Bert Porter

    The Media is too obsessed with the issue of torture, gay marriage and celebrities, when you should be concentrating on the problems with the economy. Also the 20 or so individuals in Congress, the Administration and the financial institutions that got us into this financial mess, domestically and globally should held responsible.

    We are not going to solve any of our problems until we get rid of the lobbyists and their money.

    Internationally, the United States cannot solve all the world's problems. Any of nations of the world need to help with the Pakistan problem and so forth.

    Bert Porter

    April 26, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  32. jaime cota

    i'm a smal business owner and by the time you read this letter i'll be an ex-small business owner. why are the small business onwers like myself not getting any help from the government or the stimulus? why is it just the big business and the banks?. I saw a report on the news where a cauple wrote to thier state represenatives and they recived some help. i wrote to my represenatives here in Idaho and was told "WHY ARE YOU WRITNG TO US WE CAN't HELP YOU" so who suppose to help people like myself?

    April 26, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  33. Casey kassim Abdul

    Dear Anderson,

    I would like to take this opportunity to explain to the president this: Bo bo,bo and bo. what's stand for sir, for B as Barrack and O as Obama that's right this is why the oval office stands for .

    thank you .
    Sincerely Bo , Barrack Obama.

    April 26, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  34. azra daie

    Anderson i am your follower but how do i tweete you dirctly by the way make sure you read my release report card for president, lots fo misspelling but forget me

    April 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  35. alohame

    the president is not a miracle scientist, and his promises I am sure is something he is striving to keep. then again, comparing his attributes to a schoolgirl report card is a tad too much. he is an accomplished graduate of higher education, not to mention previously a senator! how dare one mock those accomplishments with a mere report card. mind you, I didn't vote for him, but I do respect him for his accomplishment to the highest position in the United States. He EARNED that respect.

    April 26, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  36. Rachel

    I give the president B+ on the economy and A+ on foreign affairs. I give him F on trying too much to bring the Republicans. They do not deserve to be on the table.

    Rachel
    Atlanta GA

    April 26, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  37. irene sharpe

    I think the President's report card grades are A+. Please report that.

    April 26, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  38. John

    Why didn't CNN do such an intensive and detailed analysis of the first 100 days of the Bush presidency?

    April 26, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  39. Brian

    Hi Anderson,
    President Obama recieves an F for the first 100 days for being partisan and having a witch hunt against the past administration for political positioning. If he does this make sure he prosecutes his own staff and find them guilty as well for the same crimes! Regardless of affliation a politician is synonymous with being a liar!!! Just like NBC, MSNBC and CNN on how they opinionate the news and not just tell the facts!!!

    April 26, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  40. Alex Lyrics

    A plus A+ A+
    I give President Obama an A plus for shutting up those angry republicans all week. Thank GOD they are finally quiet and scared of being indicted for war crimes.

    I also give him an A pus for helping ease this economy, it sure does feel like its turning around again.
    I give him an A+ for saving that captain from the pirates, that took allot of brass balls to do that one. Most people would have been scared to make that decision, for fear if he got killed in the process.

    Lets face it, Obama is our modern day superman, Our Super president, has brought the UNITED STATES name back out to the world in a good way. Bush must be hiding in a closet right now.

    April 26, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  41. Heidi Ann Berg

    Dear Mr President
    In the few months you been in office i grade your family life a A+ ,your economy issue C- ,just because you should have went threw very careful were the money went and how it was being spent .But you are the most motivated president I have ever seen .I think a B-

    April 26, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  42. Stacy Alexander

    Dear Mr. President:

    In your first 100 days, you have reinstated hope when hope was almost gone.

    You get an "A+".

    'nuff said.

    Stacy Alexander

    April 26, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  43. P. Caesar

    I think Obama is doing a great job considering the mess they left. Republicans are the party of No and they are so racists. No matter what Obama does the Republicans will object to him. They are jealous of his accomplishment in such a short time. They do not want to say that a "Black Man" saved America. Bush and Cheney tried to make it as hard as possible by leaving this country in a mess. They did this on purpose. They wanted him to inherit this mess. It was like "since you want to be president well you got it" now fix it this mess.

    April 26, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  44. Anthony Penta

    I have a serious issue that can be better explained with a phone call. Alzheimers and Dementia. The legal system is taking advantage of a Alzheimer patient as well a a guardian. A Alzheimer patient does not have any rights and therefore is manipulated and robbed of all rights. Protection is a must for such patients,but what kind of protection. A protection that robs them because they can not protect themselves or a protection that truely looks out for there best interest. I am not interested in donating. I am interested in help and for a majority protest against the system that takes advantage of Alzheimer patients. I would like to be interviewed so that I may bring more awareness of what happens when a patiant is declaired incompetant. Please contact me and I will go into much more detail. 813-389-6559 Elderly lady held hostage

    April 26, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  45. Carol

    Tskk..Tskk... I read your Bio Tom, and you are so well-educated ...soooo, why are you even taking advantage of your readers who do not understand all of the actual ways that the gov is regulated,operated, spun, and reported....? If Obama were to ever respond to you, I would be surprised, because he knows that your agenda is only to get recognized more, and his is slightly more complex than that....now, advice from those who have been in his shoes, in his exact situation, and in his own head....oh, that's right, there are none of those people out there...... Keep trying though...maybe one day you'll divert his attention from yet one more important task, to take time and read your advice, and if that happens, then I will second-guess him for the first time ever. Good luck.

    April 26, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  46. Tamra

    Keep in mind today's republicans are democrats & descendants who jumped ship after the passage of Civil Rights Act in 1965. Like Trent Lott, David Duke. Jefferson Davis, Lewis Payne/Thomas Powell, & Ross Barnett Sr. (Democrat and Gov of Mississippi) are perfect examples of today's conservatives – same ideas, staunchness and riding on bandwagons for $$ for an elite few). This could explain all the failures & disconnects in their party – so busy hating, fingerpointing & excluding while having no CLEAR answes and not knowing history of their adopted party, or that a country is like a company: if you don't take of your workerbees, you fail wholely. I asked republicans randomly to tell me about Wm. Seward. Most only knew of him as the "guy who founded Alaska" if they knew of him @ all. Frightening. If they don't know where came from, the new GOP ship-jumpers don't know where they are going. They have ruined my once prestigious all-inclusive party.

    April 26, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  47. Art

    To early to tell, much to come.

    April 26, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  48. Wil Lavender

    If I recall, and I might recall incorrect. Wasn't Bush first 100 days or his second 100 days great as well. The down turn of his terms were they way he handle things after 9-11. We wanted blood and he just provided Kool-aid?

    April 26, 2009 at 8:54 am |