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October 17th, 2011
07:40 PM ET

Letters to the President: #1001 'Sarcasm? No thanks'

Reporter's Note: President Obama is touring a couple of states which could prove key to his re-election. I trust his staff will forward my daily letters.

Dear Mr. President,

Here is a big difference between the two of us (I mean, of course, other than that whole “you’re the most powerful man on the planet” thing): I can be sarcastic and you can’t.

I don’t mean that in an absolute sense. Of course you can be sarcastic if you wish. I’m just saying that it is something you probably should not want to be.

Look, if I make a sarcastic crack, some people may think I am infantile, or an idiot, or both. But ultimately, they don’t really care because all they have to do is click their mouse or change the channel and they can find someone else to annoy them. But we have only one president. And when you get sarcastic, I think it can smack of a certain pettiness that may not sit well with a lot of voters.

For example, you made a joke about Republican lawmakers today; about how you are breaking up your jobs bill into smaller parts because, "Maybe they couldn't understand the whole thing all at once.” I’m not sure if I have that quote exactly right, but if you think about it, it was a thinly veiled way of saying, “Anyone who opposes me is stupid.”

Oh sure, it played well with the crowd at that event with you, but that’s not who you need to win over. They’re already in your corner. No, the polls suggest the folks you need for re-election are the ones sitting at home thinking…yes, the Republicans have made mistakes, but so have you, Mr. President.

See what I mean? Imagine how your comment played in their homes.

I will grant that we have become a sarcastic nation. We think nothing of cracking wise all the time about almost everything. I’m as guilty as the next guy. But my name won’t be on the ballot next fall. However, if I were I’d focus more on telling people what I’ve done for them, rather than making snarky comments about how other politicians have let them down too.

Hope your Monday is going well on the road. Hey, send a postcard if you get a chance!

Regards,
Tom

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
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