April 19th, 2009
09:42 PM ET

Dear President Obama #90: Mr. President, we have Susan Boyle on the line

Reporter's Note: Our President says Americans should give him ideas on how to deal with problems facing our country. So far I think I have been frankly no help at all. But I keep trying with a letter a day to the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/TV/04/17/susan.boyle.lkl/art.piano.jpg caption="Susan Boyle tells CNN that her new stardom hasn't changed her one bit. "]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

As usual, it took me forever to get around to seeing the video that everyone else in the country has watched a hundred times: That British woman singing a song from Les Miserables. It’s wonderful of course. Her voice is clear and strong, her dowdy appearance a stark counterpoint to the song itself, and the audience reaction suitably uproarious. She’s no Stevie Wonder, but you might want to have her swing by the White House piano and knock out a tune or two.

I’ve never asked: Do you play any instruments? Everyone in our house does. Piano, guitar, one trumpet player (the younger girl) and we sing like Gene Kelly in a downpour. Perhaps not as well but certainly with as much enthusiasm. Hey, here’s a music joke: You know what the definition of perfect pitch is? When you throw a banjo into the dumpster and it lands right on top of the accordion.

Anyway, this woman, Susan Boyle, is also a pretty good example of something you might want to keep in mind. There are a lot of intelligent, talented, and insightful people out in America ready to help, if Washington will only take the time to find them. Not just singers, but people with real ideas on how to run this country.

We have about 300,000,000 citizens and yet the Democratic and Republican parties often recycle the same handful of experts and advisors year after year. I know that many of them really are highly experienced and worth listening to, (although some, I should note, are also just blowhards who wouldn’t know a real idea if it bit them on their amendment..if you know what I mean) but if you are looking for new ideas seems like we should be seeing a lot more new faces in town.

I truly commend your efforts to get out and mix it up with folks around the country, and your calls for ideas from throughout the land; I’m just saying please don’t give up the search. Lots of new bosses arrive at companies promising to “listen to the workers” and “keep an open door.” Then the job gets tough, they start feeling the pressure, and suddenly they close the door and stop returning calls. Back to business as usual.

Don’t let that happen to you. Remember not just now, but also next year, and the year after that, that American really does have talent if you’ll just give your citizens a chance to show you what they’ve got.

Hope the travels are still going well. Did you pack properly for the weather? It’s always tricky this time of year. Call if you can.



Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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