[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/11/art.obama.gi.jpg]Reporter’s Note: Before taking office, President Obama asked America for help. I'm not sure if my letters fit the bill, but hopefully they give him something nice to read.
Tom Foreman | Bio
Dear Mr. President,
I don't know where the week went. Seems like I was running so fast to get everything done, the weekend just slipped up on me like Nancy Pelosi at a photo op. Ha! Just kidding.
So your big stimulus bill came steaming down the tracks after all of that wrangling. You must be pleased. Or maybe you are nervous. I guess I'd be both; pleased that I got the deal done, nervous to see if it is going to work.
Speaking of which, I have a question: Have you read this thing? Maybe that sounds silly, and I'm not trying to imply that you would be derelict if you did not, (it's eleven-hundred pages for crying out loud; you could knock off The Iliad as quickly) I'm just wondering. It seems to me that if any president read all of the legislation that comes boiling out of the Hill each year, he'd be doing an awful lot of reading. How do you decide which ones to really read, which ones to skim, and which ones to skip?
Reading everything that came across my desk as a president, I suspect, would simply drown me. Reading only summaries and highlights, however, would leave me uneasy about the devils in the details. I know you have picked a staff that you have faith in, but frankly every place I've ever worked has had its share of dim bulbs and slackers. The thing is, this stimulus bill could mean the difference between whether people find work or go jobless; whether kids go to college or to the unemployment line; whether families can keep their homes or face the crushing defeat of bankruptcy.
Fully trusting such critical matters to the others, believing they will read and comprehend details with the same insight as you would, I think must be terribly difficult. I've been teaching my 16 year old to drive and frankly trusting her at a McDonald's drive-thru puts my heart in my throat. But in the end, I suppose that is what trust is all about. If we knew things would turn out well, we would not have trust, only certainty.
I guess you can tell I'm a bit tired and pensive. The Capitol is glowing outside my office window as I write this. I'm going to go home and pick up a good book. One with a happy ending.
Enjoy the weekend. Call when you have a moment.
For more of the Foreman Letters, click here.
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