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November 14th, 2012
06:41 PM ET

Letters to the President #1395: 'Hit and run'

Reporter's Note: President Obama held a press conference today. I wrote a letter. Our work is done.

Dear Mr. President,

Well, all that post-election talk of bipartisan cooperation lasted about as long as a turtle crossing the interstate. I watched your presser this afternoon, and I’ve heard the reactions, and honestly it’s like the election never happened. Everything seems precisely the same as it was before the vote.

You’re talking past the Republicans. They’re talking past you. If any voter had been marooned on an island for the past year, he’d wonder if his whole experience was a dream because nothing here is different. It’s like the calendar pages just stopped turning.

Sigh.

I know a lot of Americans genuinely hoped for something better. Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike. Of course, your fans will furiously insist any return to the status quo gridlock is all the fault of Republicans; that the GOP is unbending, “the party of no,” and composed of spoilers who just want to obstruct any idea you put forward. Those who favor the Repubs will counter that you are showing no real leadership, avoiding making the hard calls about the budget, and wasting time blaming the other side instead of producing solutions.

Yadda yadda yadda. Like I said, nothing has changed.

And not to be too cynical (although I guess I am) but I don’t think anything is going to change either. The words you exchanged with your foes today did not sound like respectful disagreement, but rather open warfare. For that to end, one side or the other (or more likely both) has to be willing to stop engaging every point of contention. And right now I don’t see any inclination that way.

So best of luck with whatever you have planned. It’s looks like it is going to be, as they say, a bumpy ride.

Call if you have a few minutes.

Regards,
Tom

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