December 30th, 2009
07:50 AM ET

Dear President Obama #345: A great gift of music

Reporter's Note: I’ve never heard President Obama sing. Presumably he does, and I’ve always felt that a “talent” competition would add to the contest for the Oval Office. Think how cool it would be to say, “Yes, he is the leader of the free world, and a ventriloquist!” That is the sort of thing that was on my mind as I wrote today’s letter to the president.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

My elder daughter’s high school chorus was fortunate and talented enough this year to be chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center. It was a wonderful show. Joining hands with the adults of The Washington Chorus, they rolled through a rousing selection of holiday numbers with a small orchestra. She’s done well as a singer; making it into the All State chorus every year, becoming part of the elite singing groups at her school, and generally developing both a wonderful voice and ear for music. This spring, her chorus will also perform at Carnegie Hall, so you can understand our pride.

But as I watched her on that magnificent stage here in DC, I could not help but whisper a quiet word of thanks in this season of giving, to a man who gave me a great gift long ago that no doubt has contributed greatly to her success.

When I was entering my junior year in high school, my parents and I moved from Illinois to Alabama. My older brother and sister had already left home, so as the youngest I bore the burden of assimilating into a new school alone. My mother was from Alabama and we moved back to her home town, so we had family to offer some guidance, but the single most important recommendation came in this simple sentence from an older cousin about a teacher. “You really need to meet Joe Tisdale.”


December 30th, 2009
07:04 AM ET

Sound Off: Your Comments 12/30/09

Editor's Note: Many of you wrote in about airport security, saying that TSA is doing what they can with what they have. More praise was given to Erica Hill for filling in for Anderson.

Please continue giving Erica Hill and Candy Crowley more air time. They are great anchors! You go girl!

I have to say that my disappointment in ripping apart the TSA for the job they do is taking away from what is really going on. Let's look at our government and the things they continue to fail to do. TSA employees do the best job they can with the information, guidelines and equipment they are given. They are people just like anyone else stop using them for your fall guys. Focus on the government not following the protocols that are in place, the intelligence they gather and use to track any person who may pose a threat. Let's stop worrying about being politically correct and worrying about inconveniencing people in the name of security. I do not care if someone is made because they are searched, questioned or impacted by what needs to be done. Let's get back to being stronger and not standing for this and unite as Americans to protect the freedoms we are allowed to exercise every day. Everyone wants to point the finger, well you pay the salaries of those who fail you so call for answers, call for action and accept nothing less

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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