Reporter's Note: President Barack Obama told jokes last night at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner. I sat about six tables away and laughed. Now, however, we return to our previous roles: I write a letter a day to the White House, and possibly he reads them.
Tom Foreman | Bio
Dear Mr. President,
Nice job at the dinner last night. Some good lines, hearty laughs. Can’t ask for much more at that type of event, and heaven knows I’ve been to plenty.
I don’t know if you noticed, but I arrived quite late. I thought I saw you looking my way, and kind of nodding. I was tied up in the studio working on a report about North Korea and frankly had about decided that I wasn’t even coming, when I received an e-mail from a colleague urging me to still try. So I changed into my tux and raced over, and ended up hitting the room just five minutes or so before you were introduced.
Several of your pals were seated fairly close to me. Notably, Attorney General Eric Holder (did you know that his middle name is Himpton?); and your big advisor, David Axelrod, whom I saw at the party afterward looking pretty sweaty. Of course, the room was packed, hot, he was climbing a flight of stairs, and Ed Henry was lurking nearby so I guess that’s to be expected.
In one sense I enjoy events like this, but in another I really don’t. It’s fun catching up with a lot of old friends from the business, seeing who is where and what they are up to now. But invariably it is also pretty noisy and crowded and I wind up envying whomever the president is at the time; not because you get to be leader of the free world (although I’m sure that’s cool) but because you get to tell a few jokes, shake a few hands, then sail away like a cool breeze over the Potomac. Heck, you don’t even have to worry about parking!
I’ve never been much of a big party person. I don’t drink. I get tired trying to yell my way through conversations, and if I run into someone I’d really like to chat with, I usually find myself working them off into some relatively remote and quiet place so we feel like…well, like we’re not at a big party.
Anyway, no advice in here today, that’s for sure. Mainly just some observations from my seat in the peanut gallery. I’m at home now as I write this and the kitchen stove clock says it is 1:42 in the morning. My 16 year old daughter got up when I came in about an hour and a half ago, and we stood down here talking about the day. I Windexed a large ceramic rooster on the counter that was looking kind of dusty. It’s strange to think that right now, only a few miles away, you are probably asleep already; unaware for a few hours that you are the president, that you were the star attraction at the big dinner tonight, and most of all unaware that I am sitting here in the dark, listening to the refrigerator’s hum, and typing in the glow of the computer screen to say I hope you enjoyed your evening. And when you wake up, call if you can.
Now it says 1:51. I’m going to bed, too.
Find more of the Foreman Letters, here.
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