March 12th, 2009
09:33 AM ET

Dear President Obama #52: The Capitol Hill dodge ball club

Reporter's Note: The President said if Americans have any ideas on how to run the country, they should let him know. Of course that was some fifty letters ago. Nevertheless, I continue my quest to send a message every day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I have a straightforward question, and please believe me when I say I truly mean no offense: Who is running the Democratic Party these days? I feel like I am being routinely astonished by your Congressional colleagues spouting off about the economy in ways that could create some pretty nasty fights for you.

Here you are trying to convince us all that your stimulus plan is going to work, that you have charted a clear course to better days, and that we should be hopeful; and yet some other top Dems are running around hinting that we’re going to need another stimulus… this one won’t be enough. Then some of them come out saying, oh wait, we don’t have plans for anything like that right away. And then others add, yes, but before the end of the year we probably will. Then they blame the media, Bob’s your uncle, and it’s a mess. Yada yada yada.

I want to be confident. I want to believe you have taken the bull market by the horns and are dragging it bellowing back to Wall Street. But when members of your own party go around freelancing doubt, I think a lot of voters get twitchy. Do these governmental pals of yours not understand how many people in this country are trying to have faith in them? And do they not understand how hard they make it for us, when they start suggesting the very legislation that they proposed, voted for, and you signed, is inadequate before the ink is dry?

It’s like a girlfriend I once had who could not read a map to save her life. She’d tell me to turn down a street, and before the blinker clicked off, she was saying “Oh, well maybe we should have gone the other way. But I don’t know. This might work.” See? Not a big confidence builder.

I’m all for hearing different points of view, and I know that people legitimately differ on issues even within a political party. But for crying out loud: You’ve been in office just over fifty days, this stimulus plan has been on the books three weeks, and you’ve said until you are blue that people will have to wait to see results.

I used to play this sort of free-for-all version of dodge ball as a kid. It was supposed to be every person for himself, but we’d form quick confederacies on the fly to whittle down the competition. Still, once enough of the also-rans were picked off, invariably a temporary teammate would seize an unguarded moment to declare himself a breakaway republic and paste you in the back. It was sneaky, unnerving, and a blast. But we were kids, it was a game, and losing cost you only a big red blotch that faded by the time you went home.

This is serious business you are in, and it requires serious teamwork.

Maybe your fellow Dems are a little slow on the uptake, or maybe they’re jealous of your power, but it might be time for a letter writing campaign of your own; reminding them who is president, and who is at least supposed to be firmly in his corner.

Did you try to call this morning? I was brushing the dog and ran for the phone but it stopped ringing before I could get there. Leave a message next time, ok?



For more of the Foreman Letters, go here.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. john gunderson

    the president needs to take the demos to the public woodshed on one of his public broadcasts, esp Pelosi and Reid. They are supposed support him not undermine him. We need to get back to a manufacturing base in our economy.

    March 13, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    Dodge ball – what a memory – the only game I was any good at. As to who is in charge of the Democratic party who knows? At least there is still a party there. Do we know if the GOP is still in existence and who runs it these days – and no, it is not Rush.

    March 12, 2009 at 9:11 pm |
  3. L. Carilo, H.R., CO

    No, Tom. That was me on the phone. Had to hang-up because my dog needed to go "out."

    No worries. I'm positive Mr. President will get back to you as soon as he has some free time. According to former pres. GWB schedule; isn't it almost spring-break vacation time? ~ L.C.

    March 12, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  4. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    You asked an interesting question--who runs the Democratic Party–when you should have asked who runs the government-–and that Tom--is the wealthy. There are only the winners and loosers-Democratic or Republican are just imaginary labels that have been created to appease the populace.

    March 12, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  5. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    The thing is....what if the billions were given directly to the taxpayers? Would that not have stimulated the economy?

    I get it...business needs to grow and prosper in order to sustain stability...a shot in the arm, such as a direct taxpayer "stimulus" won't produce long-term progress. But, big business and large financial corporations simply do not have a plan. With no plan, no growth, and no common sense.

    March 12, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  6. Teresa

    I think Mr. Obama doesnt care about the Dem party particularly. He has a job to do and by golly he is going to do it, dem., repub., or in-between. Dont confuse his mission with too many details. Me-thinks Mr. Obama would dearly like to rid the US of the two pary system.

    As for this little line: "It’s like a girlfriend I once had who could not read a map to save her life. She’d tell me to turn down a street, and before the blinker clicked off, she was saying “Oh, well maybe we should have gone the other way. " It's a genetic thing, Tom, we are directionally challenged. We females can tell you What to do and what needs done, it's up to you to find the way there. We cant do it all.

    March 12, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  7. meenas17

    Democrats playing truant. Obama is facing trouble on all directions. His partymen are crying hoarse. Bad things come in multitudes, Obama. Put up a brave face.

    March 12, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  8. Maria

    Happy morning Tom,

    It is the judgment day for Madoff.

    Yeh, I agree with you seroius business require seroius teamwork, but always keep in mind, the teamwork should be directly connected and the task for each member should be clear.
    Shooting in the air, mixing apple and oranges and day dream imagination will never help, unless there is arrangement.

    I hope you will catch the president call next time, the goodnews, Friday is approaching and the weather is expected to be great this weekend.

    Have a lovely one

    March 12, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  9. THE mega PISSED OFF

    DoDGE ball – i think THat is the ONLY thing CANAdians CAN do!!!!

    March 12, 2009 at 9:35 am |