June 4th, 2009
08:54 AM ET

Dear President Obama #136: Sleep walking ... sleep working...

Reporter's Note: President Barack Obama would like for Americans to send him advice on how to run the country. I have enough trouble picking a paint color for the rec room, but I’m giving it a shot with a letter a day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I don’t mean to complain or shirk my duty, but I am really tired lately and frankly I couldn’t give you any advice even if I were propped up behind a neon sign that said Palm Reading. I’ve been staying up tres, tres late working on this video project for my younger daughter’s school, and I am whipped.

It was supposed to be just a little volunteer project to mark their graduation from 8th grade, which I’m pretty sure I mentioned in yesterday’s letter. The ceremony was tonight and it was really quite nice, although as such things usually are, way too long. Too many songs, too many speeches; but still, like I said, nice.

Anyway, back to the video project. In past years it’s just been a nice collection of video and some still photos edited to music with maybe a few wishes for good luck from the teachers. But having spent my entire adult life (and part of my teen years) in media, I felt compelled to create something bigger, and since computer editing makes it possible I’m now trying to put the finishing touches on the Gone With the Wind of 8th of graduation projects. Seriously, it’s like Lawrence of Arabia without the sand.

I’ve taken a short break to write this, but I need to get right back on it as soon as I am done. I am intent on finishing it before I sleep tonight, which will be no small trick since it is already midnight.

Are you getting enough sleep since you took the oath? I often wake up in the night when I have a lot of things on my mind, and I can’t imagine what it must be like for you. I’m tossing and turning over a list of chores that have backed up for Saturday, and you’re taking on…oh, let’s see…North Korea, the Muslim world, and whatever Biden is up to.

I don’t mean to go on about all this, because it really is entirely my fault, and I’m not facing real problems, just a few too many commitments. But now that I think of it, maybe I do have some advice to give: Don’t spread yourself too thin, keep your priorities in order, and get enough sleep. Probably not bad advice for anyone during these difficult days we are all facing. Now if only I were smart enough to take it.

Call if you get a moment, but I hope you understand if I let it ring through. Chances are, I’ll be snoozing.



Find more of the Foreman Letters, here.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. RLWellman

    It's funny now that the shoe is on the other foot. President Bush was criticized every time he took a trip by the Democrats, but now you want more time for President Obama and he deserves time off.

    Our country was not in the shape it is now. The Government has the gaul to criticize GM and Chrysler about how they run their companies and the U.S. is 11.3 trillion dollars in debt. It has gone to Communist China to help bail them out.

    Now, before you say it was President Bush's fault our country is in the shape it's in, you have to remember the Democrats controlled both houses from 2007 on. The President does not make bills, he either approves or vetoes them.

    With all three houses being controlled by Democrats, there are no more checks and balances. Whatever bill is written by the Democrats, gets passed through without any problems. Here is the problem though, they just keep spending money they don't have and we the taxpayers will have to keep paying.

    Doesn't this bother any of you Democrats at all? Do you actually believe it's your turn to spend money no matter how much it is or what it's spent on?

    June 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  2. Sue

    As he said yesterday on NBC – which of his "priorities" would you suggest he ignore – Pakistan? North Korea? the demise of the US auto industry? Lack of health care for children and unemployed? the environment, which is teetering on it's last leg??

    He has no choice but to travel on Air Force One – the secret service doesn't give him another option. Should he stay in the White House for 8 yrs? I think the fact that, with all that is going on, he makes time for his wife and family is indicative of the kind of man he is – and the kind you should want running the government.

    Every president has speech writers and uses teleprompters.

    And actually, every night he stays up after the family is in bed and answers ten individual letters from American citizens – just to keep in touch and try to burst the bubble which surrounds him.

    Anything else you want to compain about??

    June 4, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  3. Rosemary

    I agree with Jack. The guys is up to his ears in "stuff", important "stuff" that affects the entire world. Don't you think he deserves a date with his wife every now and then? He HAS to travel on the US's dime becase WE need him safe. That is precisely what we are paying for.

    Those who criticize don't take the time to think things through, do they? He could have brought the entire Broadway cast to the White House, but he chose the less expensive route.

    Stop complaining and give the guy some time before you start complaining. I'm sure you've started new jobs in the past. There is absolutely no training for this one and it's a lot more difficult than flipping burgers.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  4. Margo

    Jack, I am with you ... nice zinger btw

    June 4, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  5. jack

    The POTUS took a smaller plane to NYC, he IS allowed some personal time (or do you expect him to be 100% work and zero% family for the next four to eight years?)

    As for Air Force One, ANY plane he flies in uses the callsign AIR FORCE ONE... if it were a Piper Cub it would still be AFO.

    Thanks for playing... maybe you'll do better in the lightning round...

    Sorry, I just noticed you're from TX. Explains alot, that...

    June 4, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  6. Terry, TX

    "Don’t spread yourself too thin, keep your priorities in order, and get enough sleep." How about handle one thing at a time....get the economy healthy...and everything else can wait....that's a thought.

    Oh...and he's getting plenty of rest using Air Force One for his New York dates with his wife...and he was outraged with companies flying to DC to meet the Congress.....and it's not like he stays up all night writing his speeches... and delivers from the pulpit with his teleprompter.

    June 4, 2009 at 9:27 am |