November 21st, 2009
08:07 AM ET

Dear President Obama #306: Run! Here come the pollsters!

Reporter's Note: As opinions have rolled over facts in DC like Rommel on the move, I have become more enamored of numbers. Sure, they can lie, but they usually start giggling when they do it, so at least you know. So I’m talking about numbers in my latest missive to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

People always say the same thing about polls. “No one ever asks me.” I understand their frustration, and their doubts too. I mean, after all, in a country of more than 300-million people, how can you ask a few thousand what they think and from that figure out what the rest of them want? If I walked into a hundred McDonald’s and found, by sheer chance, that 85 percent of the folks there wanted Big Macs, I’m not sure that would tell me much about what all the other billions of customers were hungry for that day. I’m pretty sure there’d be some Quarter Pounder kids in the crowd, even if I missed them.

Polling is, at least in theory considerably more scientific than that, but still…like I said…I understand why people have doubts about whether polls really measure what we are thinking as a nation. And I sure understand why you might want to have doubts these days. Your numbers are looking like a bad morning after a good night on Bourbon Street. Especially on the economy.

82 percent of your citizens think economic conditions are poor, at least according to our latest poll; and yes, I’ll take fries with that. To put it in simpler terms, four out of every five people are wishing they had a jar full of cash buried in the back yard right now. (btw, I don’t have one, so don’t even think of sending Biden over here with a shovel at night…seriously; reduce your own deficit!) And to put it into even simpler terms, a lot of Americans are having some interesting discussions in the evening in which you may not be the villain, but you are certainly not the hero at the moment. “Hey kids, how would you feel about home-made Christmas gifts this year? I think I can whittle an Xbox. Pretty sure.”

Contrary to what the rest of the DC crowd thinks, I’ve always believed the American public is a pretty shrewd lot. You can tell them things are getting better all you want, and you can wave around your “jobs created/jobs saved” press releases, but they believe what they see, and what they are seeing right now is friends losing jobs, and neighbors losing houses.

Until that changes, your countdown to Christmas is going to involve some pretty brutal numbers. And you don’t even need a poll to know that. Call if you can.



Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Dave, CT

    Ask yourself, has anything that Obama has done worked?
    All their facts, figures and projections have been way off or misguided. More jobs are being lost than created – unemployment is STILL increasing, so is spending.
    They have shown they have absolutely no morals, ethics or common sense in the policies they are putting forth.
    They are as far from bipartisan as can be. They have proved over and over again to be untrustworthy. He has no real life experience or success except for promoting himself. Give me a break, he had not one but two autobiographies before he became president. If that is not an ego-maniac I don;t know what is. He's never run a business, was only in the senate for a year and has so many associations with questionable figures it's disturbing. He is much better qualified to be the president of Acorn than the President of the United States.

    November 21, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  2. Lloyd Cooper

    All i heard today from the GOP was " The sky is falling!!The sky is falling!!
    Why want they get in there and work with the Dems?? What are they scared of??

    November 21, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  3. Corve DaCosta

    interesting post...love it

    November 21, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  4. Gig Xifaras

    • The US ranks #37 in the world for quality of health care

    • 26 of the countries that have better quality health care have single payer, two-tiered payer or insurance mandate systems

    • This should not be discussion as to IF we should have health care – the question is, why do we NOT have universal health care?

    G X

    November 21, 2009 at 8:53 pm |

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