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December 10th, 2012
09:02 PM ET

Letters to the President #1421: 'Post party'

Reporter's Note: President Obama and I attended a Christmas concert together in Washington last night. Well…he was with his wife and family, and I was with mine, but we were in the same room.

Dear Mr. President,

You looked like you were having a wonderful time last night at Christmas In Washington. I’m there every year, so I’ve seen you before and I must say I don’t think you’ve ever before looked so relaxed and happy. When Diana Ross came out, I thought you and the First Lady might actually get up and start dancing. It was a good show, and it was nice to see everyone so content.

That said, I’ve also rarely seen a room light up so fast and furiously as it did when Psy came on! The way he transitioned from The Christmas Song into Gangnam Style was hilarious, and it seemed like everyone had to start moving when he and his dancers started tearing it up onstage.

I am aware that there has been some measure of controversy over his appearance; that he made some pretty strident, anti-American statements in years past…at least in terms of his performances. I also know that he apologized for them, and that you seemed most gracious in greeting him (just like all the other performers) after the show. I noticed that your daughters seemed delighted to meet him and your wife gave him a big hug as well.

Good for all of you.

Whether a South Korea performer who does an excellent horsey dance likes or dislikes America is beside the point. I always tell my daughters, “You can’t keep someone from saying mean things about you. You can only determine how you will react, and that reaction will tell people much more about the strength of your character than any slander any enemy can utter.” That’s true of nations as well, I think.

Our country always has, and always will have its critics. But your reaction last night; your obvious willingness to accept the apology, to understand that young people often say rash and foolish things that they may later regret; showed the greatness of country’s character. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it was appreciated where I sat.

That said, Biden just seemed confused by the whole Gangnam Style thing, didn’t he?

Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom

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