June 20th, 2009
07:46 AM ET

Dear President Obama # 152: Thanks for the lovely dinner

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.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

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.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Donna Wood, Lil' Tennessee

    That was a really good piece you did on the lovely dinner. I really enjoyed it, especially since I did not get to see it in it's entirety. I was working, as I invariably, always am, Oh I'm not complaining of course. At least I have a job. I also watched what I could of it on the ac360 podcast. Thank goodness for those. Just thought I'd let you know I really liked it.

    Donna Wood
    Lil' Tennessee

    June 21, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  2. Tinzley Bradford

    I would love to come with you next time you go to dinner with President Obama. I loved how frank and to the point and honest you were in this post, I almost imagined myself there. You are definately human... Ha Ha Ha...Have a good day.

    June 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  3. Susan

    Does the President ever call? I've been thinking you should suggest a game of "one on one". Bring the family, have a nice meal from the garden, and just visit. I'm thining that sounds like a good day! 🙂



    June 21, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    What for gods sake is the point of this letter!!??
    Other than a waste of time.
    My E-mails/blogs are usually longer this warrants nothing!!

    June 21, 2009 at 5:54 am |
  5. Tulay C Leonhardt

    It was nice to read your inside story. Still watching the video from last night and laughing. After reading and watching the news coming from Iran needed this break.
    Fort Worth, TX

    June 20, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  6. Lori

    It sounds like a fun evening, and I am sure you were not in the in the peanut gallery.

    June 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  7. lance sweeten

    really got a kick out of President Obama{ he's earned it} didn't know how funny he really was. he did poke fun at him self even though some people thinks he didn't. got some good zingers in on a few more too. i watched the re-play about four times. the man is great. I forgot who spoke after him but i hope that everyone read between the lines. really enjoy your program, and will continue to watch. why all the constant repeats of the hour all night long?????

    June 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  8. Sherry Woodbeck

    Very happy you made the party so that I could enjoy reading about it!

    June 20, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  9. Mary

    Well, now, that was a lovely letter, Tom. I guess I've just not read enough of your letters as compared to A.C. Excuse me for sounding
    sarcastic, but what was your point? You were late? You don't like to drink or be at large gatherings? You think Mr. President was funny and noticed you were late? You polished a rooster? Stayed up too late? Or is this just a nice letter displaying a typical guy not wanting to put on a tux and go to a party where it just so happened the guest of honor was the leader of the free world?

    June 20, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  10. Rachel / Texas

    pretty cool letter, love your look at things, I actually could feel how the President would feel when he returns home, just with his family and can relax and let go for a minute, and rest!!! and although it's sounds pretty cool to be leader of the free world, not many would want the job...well get some sleep, the President is giving you a call later...

    June 20, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  11. Eleanor Coombs, Ga

    I think this is only the second time reading your blogs. You really gave a nice account of your observation at the dinner last evening. I was waitibg up last night to hear your take on the "Marijuana/Pot story"...I fell asleep. It was 10:30 when I saw the clock and it was 4:36 when i cut the T.V. off, sorry. Yep, I even missed the repeat. Any way a lot of the jokes that was written for Obama for the dinner, was dry. Others were abusing. Was it Phil Collins that said, 'jokes should be amusing and not abusing'? But wasn't my President handsome?

    June 20, 2009 at 11:19 am |