November 22nd, 2009
07:38 AM ET

Dear President Obama #307: Haul out the holly...

Reporter's Note: I have started my Christmas shopping, and I’m sure the White House is hoping an awful lot of other Americans get busy laying down their dollars soon. After all, economic recoveries don’t come in red sleighs. You’ve got to build them. Just as I am building an unbroken record of writing to the president every day.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Have you been to a mall lately? I suspect not. I can’t recall the last time I saw video of a president in a mall. Which is a little strange, because I’ve seen pictures of you presidential types in everything from dairy barns to motorboat factories. And heaven knows if you wanted to see how the economy was doing a mall would be a pretty good place to end your quest.

“Where do you travel, good sir?”

“I seek the oracle of the economy.”

“Then continue on. It’s down on the left. It’s called J. Crew.”

Such a trip would be worthwhile, and here’s why. Like a lot of Americans, I have started plundering the shopping horizon to get ready for the holidays, and I’ve been struck by a number of things. Inventories seem to be down everywhere; like no one wants to risk getting stuck with a pile of purple turtlenecks that no one will buy.