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July 18th, 2009
07:06 AM ET

Dear President Obama #180: Pass the bandaids ... and sound the charge!

Reporter's Note: President Barack Obama is busy defending his health care reform plans from Democrats who don’t want them the way they are, and Republicans who do not want them at all. I am busy writing another letter to the White House. Hey, at least he should get something nice in the mail.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I was watching your announcement yesterday defending your health care reform plans when suddenly I heard you say, “We’re going to get this done!” Umm…I know you have not been in DC a terribly long time, but people around here don’t talk that way in mixed company. (Meaning, of course, mixed Dems and Repubs.) I know it sounds strong and confident and all, but such definitive statements in DC are riskier than ordering the swine flu special at Pete’s-Pack-a-Lunch.

Now for me: I like that sort of thing. Give me the proud, bold, daring public servant any day, no matter what his agenda. “No new taxes.” “Mission accomplished.” “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Those are statements that voters can sink their teeth into; unambiguous, clear measures of where a person stands.

I think it takes courage or recklessness or startling naiveté or…well… something else to blurt such things out, (and yes, I know the MisAccom was a sign, not a statement, but President Bush stood underneath it in any case,) but at least it’s not the same old boring bet-hedging we’ve all come to know and loathe. Most political types avoid saying such things because the risk is too much for them to bear. If you say concretely what you want and when you want it; everyone will know definitively if you fail to achieve the goal.

So I winced a little bit when I heard you join the Candor Club. You have now effectively bet at least a small portion of your presidential credibility on the notion that you can, and will have health care reform legislation written, approved and signed by the end of August. As even you admitted that is a tall order. Still, I like watching politicians play on the edge, just like I enjoy those extreme sports shows where guys lose their teeth. Lay it out there. Take your chances. You may win, or you may lose, but nobody can say you didn’t play for keeps.

We’re having weekly meetings with my elder daughter lately about her college search. (Yikes!) If you happen to call, remind me of that. I have a couple of questions that I’ve been meaning to ask you. Meanwhile, big moon anniversary coming up Monday! That will be fun…going to hand out Moon Pies at the office. Stop by if you want one, or send Biden…I’ll give him a boxful.

Regards,

Tom

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Donna Wood, Lil' Tennessee

    Ye but, don't forget guys, when President Obama takes like that, we take that chance right along with him. I don't know about anyone else, but, that's why I voted for him! I have a tendency to live life on the edge also! If you don't believe me, just ask my beloved family. They all hate me for it. You might say, I get the same retorik as the President!

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    July 18, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  2. RUBY FRANKLIN

    Mr. Foreman and Mr. U.S. President Obama:

    It is a pleasure seeing you both engage into the humanity side of this. Politics is a mutation of what we make it. The issues are either addressed or not, ignored or fixed, and justified or continue brushed under the rug with unnecessary distractions. Until the justice of treating our brothers the way we want to be treated is not deceptively understood we shall continue to be distracted from what is true and right. The freewill and choice of the peoples are important to the people but let not the nations continue to be deceived that our leaders love us but show them through continued dedication of what you do and what you both know you are good at, keeping righteousness and the preservance of life for our next generations by being our heroes today and setting the right examples for the world to see. This light is the light for a better tomorrow for you both, the rest of the world populations, and me. Love you as my own brothers. Thanks again for all you do for others.

    May you always walk with our Heavenly Father whom has many names but is only ONE CREATOR of all things.

    Ruby

    July 18, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  3. Stephen Boyd

    A little positive attitude and talking of teamwork goes a long way in my book...even if it isn't the norm on the D.C. Beltway. Keep it up Mr. President!

    July 18, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  4. RLWellman

    The only thing he's going to get done is to bankrupt our country. This Health Care Reform Bill is not the answer we are looking for in providing health care to those who don't or won't work.

    All this bill is doing is giving more control over us to the Government. They continue trying to be our bosses and not our representatives. Maybe the rest of the country thinks this is okay, but they are supposed to work for us not for themselves.

    It's about time they follow the same rules they give to us. Their retirement should be social security like ours. Their health care shouls be the same as ours. No more special treatment for Government employees!

    July 18, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  5. Rachel / Texas

    I think the time is right to do the right thing!, The urgency of now is here! there are to many Americans out of work and without Healthcare. we are supposed to be the richest country in the world, and in many ways, we are the poorest. As a 5 yr Breast Cancer survivor, who worked 30 years full time, I am now without work and fighting for the benifits I worked for??, My dignity has been taken away by the system I paid into for many years. So God bless you Mr. President for having the courage to take a stand!, And I'll take one of those moon pies Tom.

    July 18, 2009 at 9:14 am |