February 21st, 2010
07:04 AM ET

Dear President Obama #398: Doing the Texas two step

Reporter's Note: Texas has been home to several presidents, including the one just before President Obama. Oddly enough, it may also be a launching ground for the nation’s recovery. Oh the irony. And it will be the postmark on my next week of letters to the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/09/art.capitol.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

So by the time you are reading this I will be winging my way to the great Lone Star State! Texas! Cowboy Town! The Wild West! Hot-cha!

Just as you periodically like to joyride around America to chat up your ideas, I’m traveling to hear what folks have to say about the economy, politics, their families, their faith, and possibly bowling. This is part of this special Building Up America series that we’ll be doing on CNN for the next seven months or so. Simply put, I’m going around to find individuals, businesses, and communities where people have ferreted out a way to move forward and thrive despite all of the hard times the nation is facing. By sharing good ideas, maybe a town in Texas can help a town in Maine which might help a town in South Dakota, and on and on it goes. At least that is the theory.

Sometimes we take on projects in journalism that I have serious doubts about; I don’t always think they are good reporting, or effective, or valuable to anyone, but I really do believe in this one. I may have told this story to you, and if so…sorry…but take a read again. Years ago when I worked at ABC News I had dinner with Peter Jennings one night in Denver. Peter had always taken a pronounced interest in my work, which meant he spent a lot of time critiquing my efforts and telling me what I was getting wrong.