July 22nd, 2009
10:00 AM ET

Dear President Obama #184: Listen to President Jackson

Reporter's Note: The President is busy fending off Republican attacks and Democratic ennui; I’m busy writing a letter each day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Your poll numbers are eroding a bit, some of your allies are looking remarkably like enemies, heck, and even Republicans have started smiling again. Have no fear, this is just what happens to presidents; even the very best of them. And I, always ready with a fine suggestion for a better future, have a bit of advice that will help put everything back on the right track.

If I were you, I’d take a twenty-dollar bill and tape it to the middle of my desk, and every day I’d look at it and remind myself of that the number one issue in this country, and the number one thing that got me elected was concern about the economy. Then I would ask myself, what have I done today to make people feel better about the dollars in their wallet?

What is hamstringing your health care initiative? Worries about the economy. What is undermining your green energy plans? Worries about the economy. What is burrowing like an eager yard full of moles under almost everything you are proposing? Worries about the economy.

I know this is not something you really counted on. VP Biden has suggested as much. But like the old saying goes, “No matter where you go or what you do, there you are.” And here you are. I suggested yesterday that you needed to dig deeper into this question of why Democrats who should be supporting you are keeping their distance, and I think this is it.

Sure people are worried about health care. But many of them are more worried about jobs, more worried about debt, more worried that all this money we are spending and they want to see results. That’s just a hard reality right now. I learned a long time ago, that whatever you want to do, sometimes the facts dictate what you have to do whether you like it or not, and whether or not it fits your agenda. As I often say to young people who get frustrated on the job, “Hey, why do you think they call it work? If it always went the way you wanted, they’d call it a tea party.”

Just keep telling yourself, “I can do what I want, but the economy comes first, the economy comes first, the economy comes first…”

I hope you have not been calling lately. I feel like I have walked into my office to a ringing phone so many times, that I must be missing some while I’m running around. But remember, my cell is always good!



Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. ronvan

    Is anyone getting fed up reading all this stuff? We have so many problems ongoing that I cannot see any of it getting solved. Trying to take on one thing at a time is nice, but not realistic. Does the term "multi tasking" ring a bell. President Obama came up with a plan & now everyone has their own. Where were they before? Reading the paper today and people are talking about going out of business due to the minimum wage increase. Was this just passed?
    Today people are looking at how much money they can put in their pockets, and not looking forward.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  2. Chi Rose

    I listened ti Liz cheney last night on LKL, and was appaled at how ignorant she is of the Canadian health care system. In canada you can Choose your doctor and tests are done promptly and efficiently.
    I wish Americans will take the time to read the health care proposals and understand that Primary health care is key to preventative health care.
    Health is Wealth

    July 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  3. joe

    I hope someone is listening! Why is the American public allowing this President to both create irrevocable harm with huge debt levels for future generations as well as targeting the working/educated population of this country as his meal ticket. Has everyone lost sight that this leader (I use that term lightly) has never been involved in creating any legislation and now he is pressuring the country to pass tremendous reform with little more than a few weeks time to review it. IT IS MANIC BEHAVIOR. He is only pursuing such a strategy because the Dems control both t he House and Senate, but to date everything he has pursued has failed. A leader is not someone who just spends money on many types of ideas (TARP, TALF, PIIP) hoping something sticks so he can say his is right, a leader is someone who is decisive. WE all have serious issues in this country and it is not the time to now talk about Health Care; where are the jobs he promised? Where is the "green economy"? All he has done, due to his naivety, is put this country in unimaginable debt, make us beholden to China that we actually entertain conversations of a "Global Currency", and has made us the laughing stock of N. Korea. I beg America, create balance in the House and Senate in the next election so true, thoughtful legislation may be passed. Stop this President's Manic behavior and/or just refuse to pay taxes. If we, the target masses of Mr. Obama for his funding needs stand together and stop paying taxes and/or form a "working America rights group" maybe he will understand that he is destroying this country. You have all worked hard for what you have, why are you letting a socialist take it from you? Change is needed, he was not it! Restore balance to the political system, one party should not govern with an iron fist.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  4. Rachel / Texas

    Enough, I think the Administration of the last 8 years did that, took the money out of your pocket, while our President is trying to get it back, and I thing President Bush and his henchman VP have that distinction of being the worst!!!!!!! I'm out

    July 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  5. Anne Marie King

    As brilliant as I believe the president to be, he is only one man. My hopes are that he is able to surround himself with the best of the best, the people who walk the walk not just talk the talk. In the still of the night my hopes are that President Obama will find the inspiration he needs to do the work needed to be done on a daily basis.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  6. Michele

    Well said Tom – very soon people will realize what a big mistake it was to elect Obama!!!!!!

    ECONOMY first!!!!!!! if the economy doesn't get fixed who is going to pay for this health care plan???? Hell, all american will be standing in line for handouts!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  7. Enough

    Economy first!! Obama needs to understand at the end of the day we would like to have a dollar left in our pocket. We are tired of the government picking our pockets for our last dime, so they can throw it away on some pork project they think is important, and Obama and company have way too many projects they want to spend MY hard earned dollars on.

    Carter WAS the worst president in history, but I think Obamas well on his way to easily take over that title in his 1 term presidency.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  8. Donna Wood, Lil' Tennessee

    Well said as always amar. afaoreman! Yes, tour right! The economy should come first! What an easy mantra to remember! Thank you!

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    July 22, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  9. Terry, TX

    True.....economy first and center.....we can't do anything until people have money and jobs. No more passing bills that our representatives are not reading....and Americans don't have access to read it as well. So far this administration has done nothing right.....I don't trust them with this....I don't see how in such a short time.....these non medical morons have the solution to medical reform....not possible, not plausible.....
    They proved that in February and March when they passed all that Pork that accomplished nothing.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  10. eric alexandre

    Yes Tom well said Economy is the number one priority and needs to stay on the top of the agenda.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  11. Yael Lenkinski

    I love love love your show, Anderson. You are beautiful to watch, easy to understand, intelligent, honest, and right up where you need to be. I thought I would miss Aaron Brown, because I liked him, but I think the choice was right. Keep up the good work.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  12. Rachel / Texas

    love the idea to put your focus in front of you, "I'm going to try it" and the old "If your ever in doubt, just do the right thing!, things will not change over night, just be steadfast and unmovable, it took more than 6 months to get where we are, and nobody was complaining while we headed here!! Mr President seems to know where he's headed, and he's a very smart man, just keep your eye on the ?????, you know what I mean, God bless

    July 22, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  13. Cindy

    Obama is too worried about keeping his image up than anything else. He tried fixing the economy and it didn't work now he's moved on to health care. He is just jumping from one thing to another and isn't really staying long enough on one issue to really fix it. He needs to cut the crap and concentrate on one thing at a time and when he deals with that sufficiently he can move on to the next issue. You can't jump willy nilly from one thing to the next and think that everything is going to work out right.


    July 22, 2009 at 8:35 am |