August 8th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

Dear President Obama #201: The job jump!

Reporter's Note: Many Americans do not have jobs, which is terrible. Part of my job is to write a letter each day to the president, which is also not always a picnic…but I’m grateful for the work.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

So just yesterday I mentioned how much I’ve needed to congratulate you lately, and now comes yet another cause for a pat on the back. The unemployment rate went down. This was not something I expected, nor apparently was it looming in the chicken bones tossed by any of the economic Yodas that seem to hover around Ali Velshi at tea and muffin time.

People always say that we never cover good news. Well, you and I both know this is certainly good and it will undoubtedly be covered all weekend. When Americans are hurting for work, and even a few manage to escape the pinch, that’s something every one of us can feel happy about. I have to think that even for someone still in the unemployment line it is encouraging; a distant glimmer at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Kind of like hearing a preacher say, “And in conclusion,” after a tedious sermon. You know that you are not in the clear yet, but there is hope

I don’t want to get carried away. The change is small enough that it could easily be reversed, and frankly I think there are significant reasons to think we could see another bad report soon enough. A single jog in the positive direction is not a trend. But it is certainly a starting place. This was a good week for you, just in case you haven’t noticed: North Korea let those two Americans comes home; you seemed to work in perfect harmony with Bill and Hillary Clinton (seriously, that raised some eyebrows in media land,) your Supreme Court pick was confirmed; and now the job situation is showing positive numbers for the first time in a year.

Of course health care reform is still staggering along like a dehydrated marathoner, and your approval ratings are sagging like an old hammock, but this news about jobs is just the sort of pivot point that could turn that around too. Because, as I have noted before, everyone out here understands unemployment. We know it is bad, and we know less of it is good.

So here’s some news: Our girls are both out of town this weekend for the first time ever, and my wife and I are experiencing a tiny taste of what it will be like to be empty nesters. I have to say, we don’t like it. The girls are so much fun. Can’t wait until they come back. So please call. We could use the company.



Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Carolyn -Austin TX

    @john You are so correct. I am praying for President Obama and for all the legislators every day.

    What's wrong with the American public, IMHO, is we are all so used to being focused on our OWN situation and condition and what we want.. self interest above everything. How many times have you been told something like "You have to take care of yourself, no one else will".

    If we would all "take a look around" lyrics from a song I recall..:) it would certainly improve the function of the US.

    August 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  2. PATSY

    The job rate only fell because so many people have been on unemployment for over a year and they no longer qualify for benefits. They are no longer considered "unemployed" and are not counted in the statistics.
    I don't think people take this into consideration when they see this tiny little "drops" in unemployment.

    August 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  3. MacFab

    That was definitely a lovely letter Tom. The reality is that it will take time for things to improve, as someone who is very sick does not get completely whole overnight, so will the economy not be magnificent in 6 months. I actually believe that the president is doing well, people will see it with time. Even though critics will refuse to see the excellent job he is doing nor matter what. I wish American well! MacFab

    August 9, 2009 at 5:06 am |
  4. nea-nea

    THANK YOU JESUS! We are not there yet but with you and the help of this new administration we are getting there,Some may not like the fact that things are looking up for political reasons but for the ones that have been feeling like giving up, hang in there and stay positive! Because when you think positive, POSITIVE THINGS HAPPENS!

    August 8, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  5. Brian Hjelmeland

    please quit telling me about your cutting edge health care when Canadians generally live longer have less obesity and in most cases the medical outcomes are the same if not better all for $54.00 per month. Nobody going broke up here over healthcare..cnn shouldn't take sides, but some of your guests just sit there and just lie without anybody challenging them....big business and huge corporations and your own politicians(the enemy within) don't want whats best for their citizens they are trying to protect wall street and big business .i truly feel sorry for the American people who are governed by fear and chaos. Yours Truly Brian Hjelmeland

    August 8, 2009 at 8:11 pm |

    Unemployment rate went down which of course is good. But according to statistics about 35 million people are collecting food stamps, even some who are educated and have skills for employment. So what type of person get this type of assistance and for what length of time? Young, old, male, female with small children, black , white, etc?I am also aware unemployment rate is around nine percent. I am sure, most would prefer to work, if their health or other conditions would improve?

    August 8, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  7. john

    Thanks Tom. President Obama deserves many pats on the back. I would give him "A" for effort. At least he's trying to improve our current conditions. I think the marks for the National Report Card were too low for his job approval. What is up with the American public anyway? We are turning into a Nation of whiners.

    August 8, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  8. richard bennetthe

    i live in lee county florida and i am seeing our economy improve daily thanks to President Obama and his stimulus package. we have even started building a spec home in north ga with confidence that we will sell it. used our own money to build this house and have seen building, construction work coming back. again, we would not be doing this if we did not have 100% confidence in our President. I have already had 8 couples look at the house and we just got he the roof on. the kicker is we are holding the note and the $8000 tax credit is helping bring potential customers to our house. Thanks again President Obama, instead of 2 % interest, we will be making 6 %. people must not be afraid to create their own stimulus . oh, by the way, we are retired and living off a fixed income and if we can do it, anyone can.

    August 8, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  9. RLWellman

    Let's pass the Cap and Trade Bill so the rest of our manufactures can move overseas. Then watch the unemployment statistics.

    August 8, 2009 at 8:27 am |