September 14th, 2009
08:23 AM ET

Dear President Obama #238: The long run strategy

Reporter's Note: President Obama is launching a new week after a presumably relaxing weekend. I, on the other hand, am hobbling around looking for an ice bag and writing yet another letter to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

So the half marathon in the dawn light of Sunday was an unqualified success! I was unqualified to make it with my hit and miss training schedule, and yet I was successful anyway. About two miles in a knot developed in my right calf that felt like I’d suddenly had a baseball implanted in the muscle. Couldn’t shake it for the life of me, but since it was basically just a really painful cramp, not an injury, I kept going and completed the 13.1 miles in just under two hours. Hooray!

With a new week underway, it is fitting that I am writing about long runs, because that’s precisely what was on my mind when the Tea Party Express crowd rolled into DC over the weekend. Did you see these folks? Thousands of people gathered at the Capitol to celebrate the end of their cross country tour opposing your health care plan, objecting to taxes, and frankly rousing support from anyone they can for a long term goal: Taking Congress back from the Democrats, and pushing you out of the White House.

I’ve heard many Dems dismiss these people are somehow hopelessly strange and out of touch with reality; calling them all sorts of horrible names, just as the tea partiers are calling you names, too. But I think it is important to pay attention to how their message appears to be resonating with voters. Because in one particular way, the Tea Party campaign is tapping into the same unrest that put you into the White House.

“Washington doesn’t have your best interests at heart.” “Too many people with the wrong kind of experience are running things.” “We need to make a change.” And “Yes, we can do it.” Sound familiar? I know that your fans would scream at the mere suggestion of a similarity, and to be clear, I’m not saying that you policies have anything in common with those of the Tea Partiers.

But you knew that voters were upset, concerned, and angry. You tapped into that with a message that said, “Don’t just be mad. Be effective. Make your government be responsive.” And right now the Tea Party folks are doing the same thing. And from all appearances, they are in it for the long haul.

Call if you can. I’ll give you more details of the race if you can hear me over the rattling of the aspirin bottle.



Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. David, Indiana

    Not exactly EMS response time.

    September 14, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  2. David, Indiana


    September 14, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    I wonder how many of the tea-baggers are old GW Bush supporters....and how many of them work for a living. Having to work I don't have time to go tea-bagging even if I was inclined to do so. They claim to be the majority or their way of thinking is the way the majority of the country thinks – I don't get that impression as I browse the internet and read blogs, news articles, etc. The majority spoke last November and while I wasn't for Obama he is our President and deserving of our support and help while he holds that office – after all if you bring him down you bring all of us down. If the tea-baggers really want to help the majority, then they can start by creating jobs for the unemployed – that would bring in tax revenue to pay for some of the stuff that they obviously do not want to pay for. Just a thought..

    September 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  4. sue wallick

    I forgot to tell you in the last email. I too, write to the President almost everyday. I begin by telling him that I want him to be successful, in the best way he can. Then tell him "STOP SPENDING", we're broke, in lots of ways that don't even have anything to do with the budget, but that's included.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  5. Kathy Downing

    Tom has it exactly right. Now that Republicans have learned about organizing and rallying people they are taking a try at turning the tables. I wonder how people have become so disenchanted with President Obama so quickly. He is not the Lone Ranger and there is no silver bullet. There is so much to be done and we need a strong leader. I support the president and continue to hope he is up to the task. At some point we need leaders who want to govern and lead and not just win the next election.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  6. Joanne P.

    Do not be deceived Mr. President. The radicals that marched on Washington are the same extremists that blasted John Kerry the Viet Nam War hero and said he was a traitor. The blatant lies and misinterpretations are taken as truth by thousands, perhaps millions of citizens.

    The Democrats, and you, Mr. President, need to take the defense and do so aggressively until you can launch an offense. Our Country's image and well-being rests in your ability to do this task.

    The silent majority is being inundated by hysteria. It is only a matter of time before that hysteria erodes your dynamic message and Presidential mission.

    September 14, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  7. Agree

    The outcome of any legislation is about as predictable as the weather. One big topic I never see discussed by either side is how they plan to address the issue involving a shortage of doctors. I've heard over and over about how long wait times are in countries with socialized medicine. The wait isn't because medicine is socialized. The wait is because people who couldn't afford insurance/treatment in the past now have that luxury, but it also means we need additional doctors to treat the millions of new patients. Fewer and fewer people are going to be interested in becoming doctors, and many doctors are going to quit because it's not worth it. The future of our health care is in India. Anyway, I hope someone has a plan for addressing the shortage of health care professionals if reform makes it through.

    September 14, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  8. Conserve' for USA

    So the tea party people are hopelessly strange and out of touch with reality according to many dems?
    Don't you think the government is hopelessly strange and out of touch with reality? They think they are our bosses, not our representatives. They plan to shove this health care reform bill down our throats even though the majority doesn't want it. Who has a distorted reality?
    Let's get rid of the non-elected czars. Let's get a smaller government, not a larger one. They need to listen to what the majority wants. If not, they will be gone starting next year!

    September 14, 2009 at 8:48 am |