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August 5th, 2009
07:54 AM ET

Dear President Obama #198: Extra points, Pyongyang style!

Reporter's Note: If I were stuck in a North Korean prison, I suppose I would be delighted to write a letter each day to the simply to escape the circumstances. However, I suspect if I wrote it to Kim Jong Il, it might not be received in the best spirit. So, not being in prison, and not being in Pyongyang, I’ll continue with my campaign to pen a letter a day to our president in the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/30/obama.roles/art.obama.role.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

This was the kind of day that I think makes it really worthwhile being a president! Granted, it’s not a bad job any day compared to being, say, a fishmonger; but today was the kind your can write down in your Diary of Great Days to be President. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up on the desk in the Oval Office, and call for one those beers that I’m pretty sure you didn’t really get to enjoy during that Rose Garden debacle last week.

You genuinely scored big with the rescue of those two journalists who were being held by North Korea. You brought them both home safely. You didn’t have to send in Chuck Norris to do it. And Kim Jong Il didn’t extract a bunch of painful promises from us in the process. Good on ya!

I know a lot of people will lay their laurels at the door of former President Clinton, and he certainly deserves some share of the honors. But all the people in the know I’m talking to say it was the State Department under his wife’s control that really kept the gears turning. What’s more, they had to do it while appearing not to…tricky work, that diplomacy. Speaking of which, you seemed to act in almost perfect concert with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Considering all the lingering rumors of discontent after the election and some of the snarky comments Secretary Clinton has tossed about lately, that is also a real plus for you.

Plenty of things will go wrong during your presidency. It’s the nature of the beast. But once in a while you’ll get a day like this one. Enjoy them while you can. And if you can turn this success into real talks with North Korea on bigger issues, (like their nasty habit lately of lobbing missiles over Japan) then you’ll really have something to celebrate.

You’re going to get a lot of grades this week as you burn into your 200th day, and not all of them are going to be good ones. But mark down some extra credit points on Foreign Affairs for today. Your team pulled together, and really earned them.

I tried to call to congratulate you, but I think my call got lost on hold. So if you want to buzz back, I’ll be around.

Regards,

Tom

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. nea-nea

    All i can say is aA JOB WELL DONE FROMTHE OBAMA ADMINISTRAION! Dear Mr. President I really like your spirit you have been called every name in the book but a CHILD OF GOD. but you didnt complain you just kept your head up so no matter what people may say keep doing your best even when you dont get the credit for it . Im praying for you and your administration.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:31 am |
  2. doris henry

    thank you for recognizing a good deed. our government and our citizens profit. hats off to a courageous clinton for his human kindness. i love the usa.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:16 am |
  3. Governorswill

    It pains me to see ignorant folks "credit" Bill Clinton with securing the release. Mr Clinton was the front man for the conclusion of his wife's negotiations. Iow, he would never have been sent had it not already been decided that the girls would be released to fly home with the former President.

    August 5, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  4. lampe

    It just goes to show what "A CLASS ACT PRES. CLINTON IS." How many people do you know, would help out the Leader of The Party that called him and his wife "RACIST?"

    August 5, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  5. sistergerl

    Hats off to Obama who is brilliant. It's just like watching Michael Jordan after getting a basket and then giving recognition to the team player who had helped set up the play. Obama, Clinton, Gore, and many others played a significant role in team work for the sake of the two journalists. President Obama is a class-act. This was a teachable moment and I hope that everyone will open their eyes to this. Look beyond the politics for a moment and consider that this was done for the good of every American citizen.

    Karen

    August 5, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  6. kip4real

    Dear Mr President
    As much as pessimists would like to discredit your behind the scenes,get the job done no matter who gets credit type of leadership..it is with great pleasure that I give you,Bill and your administration a 4.0 grade for displaying your kool,and doing the best to get the 2 ladies home. Keep up the good work,Sir and all the best to your administration!
    Saimon,Kansas city

    August 5, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  7. kip4real

    Dear Mr President
    As much as pessimists would like to discredit your behind the scenes,get the job done no matter who gets credit type of leadership..it is with great pleasure that I give you,Bill and your administration a 4.0 grade for displaying your kool,and doing the best to get the 2 ladies home. Keep up the good work,Sir and all the best to your administration!

    August 5, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  8. kemka

    Sending out a big simile to Obama and Bill Clinton for a job well done.....

    August 5, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  9. Mike in NYC

    And what did the Great One do? This was a Clinton production.

    August 5, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  10. Ed Hubble Folom Ca.

    Excellant letter Tom, They showed great teamwork and excellant leadership and you did a great job on #198. On twitter AK would like to think it was him & his Tweets Kids got to grow up. Bottom line Good to see Our Girls Home God Bless All of You

    August 5, 2009 at 8:58 am |