September 7th, 2009
08:30 AM ET

Dear President Obama #231: A big job on Labor Day

Reporter's Note: President Obama has now had his new job for well over 200 days; long enough to know most of the office gossip, to have a pretty good idea who shows up late every day, and presumably how to wield the enormous power of the Presidency. I’ve had my job much longer; long enough to know how to wield the comparatively puny power of the pen, which I nevertheless do every day in my Letter to the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/04/art.obamaov.0904.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I will be in the office working on Labor Day, which I must say doesn’t really bother me.

Oh sure, I’d like to have a day to kick back like anyone else, but I’ve always found it strange that we celebrate “working people” by taking a day off from working. If we had a Slacker Day do you think we’d celebrate by making everyone repair a shed or dig a ditch? I doubt it.

That said I won’t waste a lot of your time, just in case you are trying to catch a breather. In fact, I want to say just one thing to you on this day: Remember that someone just lost a job.

Somewhere out in this country some family (or if the statistics are running true a lot of families) is not celebrating this holiday. They are worrying. Last week, or the week before, or last month they were swept out to sea by our troubled economy and now they don’t know what is coming next.

They’ve paid their bills. They’ve struggled. They’ve tried to keep up their skills and their connections, and yet somehow events turned against them. Maybe the industry they relied on is in a deep slump. Maybe outsourcing bit down hard. Maybe their company was bought up, and their position was downsized. Maybe…maybe…maybe…

The point is right now there are millions of Americans without work who really will “work for food” if they are just given a chance again. Unemployment last week went higher than it has been in 26 years; pushing perilously close to the ten percent mark. I’m not writing today about whose fault it is or isn’t; or whether your recovery plans are working or not.

I’m just saying on this Labor Day, remember how many Americans wish they could be laboring.

Call if you get a moment. I’m at the office, and frankly…grateful to be there.



Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. tara johnson

    Dear MR Presidient,

    I heard you spoke about jobs with the highway. The problem is that alot of us do not have that type of experiene, so the jobs are given to immigrants. I see a big problem with this. The jobs are suppose to be for the American who lost their jobs to the ecomony?Right. If that's the case. There should be training Otherwise, the money is still going out of the country. We need help. And we need help fast. We are strugglin to make it.

    September 8, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  2. Tammy, Houma, LA

    Working from home, and grateful as well for the busyness on my "holiday". Here's irony for you. My dad is semi-retired from the oil and gas industry, and he's talking about going back to work in Russia because he can't find a job in the States. Oh well. He enjoys the travel. I'll enjoy hanging out with him in Europe for the holidays. There's always a sunny side to a bad economy, and I've just found it. At least one nation can hire our workers (sadly it's not our own). Cheers on this Labor Day.

    September 7, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  3. Mack Fischer, Mobile, AL

    I agree with you Tom. I am a Home Health Therapist and I am making 2 Visits today. One is to teach a patient pain management and other to get him up and position him in a Wheelchair. To me work is GOD.
    Don't work too hard!
    Happy Lobor day!

    September 7, 2009 at 9:48 am |