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December 31st, 2010
02:49 PM ET

Letters to the President: #711 'The Last Day'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: This has been a rough year for the president, but then, it’s been rough for a lot of us. Thank goodness he has my daily letters to the White House to sustain him, year in and year out.

Dear Mr. President,

I never know what to do on New Year’s Eve. I like dancing, loud music, good food, and fun; and heaven knows, I stay up past midnight almost all the time; but somehow New Year’s Eve parties just seem so contrived.

Aside from the parties, however, I like New Year’s Eve in general. I enjoy thinking back over the past year and those plans that came out better than expected (our Building Up America reports, for example) and those that came out worse than hoped. (Note to self: Silly Putty is not a suitable replacement for bathtub caulk.)

Among my successes in 2010: I crushed my e-mail inbox down from almost 13,000 messages to under 500. All my expense reports are current. I enjoyed some excellent quality time with my wife and kids, and talked to far away friends and family on the phone a pretty good bit. I started running again, and am doing so rather well. I learned the beginning of Riviera Paradise on guitar. I read a lot. (That’s not new, but always worthwhile.) And I tried really hard to listen more.

Among my failures: I still don’t really speak Spanish. In fact, I barely speak it at all. I did not publish a book, which is strange because a) I have certainly written enough and b) everyone else in Washington seems to have their name on a dust jacket. I did not learn the rest of Riviera Paradise on guitar. I haven’t done nearly enough drawing, painting, or writing just for fun this year. I did not spend enough time playing with the dog. My closet is a mess.

I’m sure if you consulted some of the folks closest to me they could add a good many more failures to the list, but with time running short before they head off to their parties, let’s not bother them.

The point of going over one’s past year, of course, is to chart a better course for the year ahead. And I suppose that is what I will do tonight, while the champagne corks are flying, and Auld Lang Syne is playing (the title of which was derived from the Scottish phrase for “Hey, who is the designated driver here?”)

I assume you may well be doing much the same, (I mean, of course, after you watch my special All the Best/All the Worst of 2010 on CNN at 8 and 10pm eastern) so please accept my heartfelt wishes for the best of luck with that. And as the old joke goes, I’ll see you next year.

Call if you can.

Regards.
Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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