February 26th, 2010
11:35 AM ET

Dear President Obama #403: Bored? Yeah, me too

Reporter's Note: President Obama spent a day listening to his fellow Democrats and Republicans talk about health care. Hmm…I thought he was against torture? I suppose if he can endure that, he can put up with another one of my letters.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/25/art.obama2.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

So how do you think the big health care summit went? From the outside, I guess I’d give it a C. No offense. Not a reflection on you. It’s just so hard to get the Washington crowd on board for any kind of reasonable chat. Seriously, I think I’d rather run naked through a cactus patch than be stuck at a party with that bunch.

I can’t even write about it without nodding off.

Here is an idea, you being sort of the tech president and all: Next time have a laptop in front of you. Tell everyone it’s for access to important information, or insurance amortization tables, or the webcam in the CBO’s kitchen. Whatever. Anyway, just let it sit there for a while, and then when Boehner starts droning away about something, or Pelosi goes off on one of her rants, you can knit your brow and start clicking like you’re really looking into what they have to say.

But in reality you’ll be checking Facebook (have you friended me yet?), going on The Onion site, ordering clothes from J. Crew, or even YouTubing. BTW- you’d better score some discreet earbuds if you are going to check out videos; if you accidentally tip off the crowd , they’ll all get into it. You know how they are. Can’t you just imagine McCain? “Hey, Mr. President, check out this link. It’s a singing dog! Hey, you want to go on the e-Bay?”

I suppose it’s a silly idea. If anyone (like that snake Ed Henry) ever caught you doing something like that you’d never hear the end of it, even though we media types often spend our time doodling when politicians are talking with no end in sight. When we are supposedly listening during press conferences, sometimes we’re thinking thinks like, “Roast beef? Yes, I think I’ll have that for dinner.. With a side of sliced peaches!”

Do you think anything was accomplished with the health care summit? Honest question. I’m not trying to trick you, I’m just wondering how you feel about it now. Seemed like there was a bit of seriously talk, but also more posing than you’d see in a mannequin factory.

Let me know. You’ve got my phone number. But for now, I’m so tired I can’t keep my head up. Oh, and I ought to let you know: I had an absolutely fabulous meal tonight at an Italian place called Inoteca. Wow! Best Italian I’ve had in ages.



Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Renee

    My friend needs help. Where are the faith based community organizations touted by many in congress as the savors of the working poor? Do any of these faith based community organizations pay burial costs? My friend will die in the next few months because she is one of the "invisible-faceless" working poor in America. She has stage 4 cancer. Her employer did not offer health coverage. She paid taxes, worked hard, and was a good american citizen.

    It's incomprehensible that we have such suffering while the "talking heads" with "talking points" play inhumane politics. Meanwhile more people are being priced out of the health care market everyday (my rates went up 39%), laid off, coverage is being dropped by insurers, not offered by employers, or lost through layoffs and job loss.

    Maybe if we require that congress, and their staffs have the same health care plan as the one proposed and passed by them (lowest tier coverage for those citizens who are the working poor or who have lost their insurance and must rely on one of those "personally accountable" catastrophic health care plans) they will do a better job at crafting the bill.

    After all, they are employed by us, and their healthcare plans are paid by our "taxes" so there should be parity in benefits. Right? This probably will not affect the congress men and women themselves (since they have been reasonably paid by us, and have cultivated many contacts during their careers which has helped them to build personal wealth); but, perhaps they will have more empathy when they are exposed to staffers who will have to make hard choices that many Americans face everyday.

    I am a "recovering republican" who is now a registered independent. I am very frustrated with congress and the media. I am tired of the oversimplification of such a complex issue that has such significant impact on our economy. It's inconceivable to me that the people who claim to be enlightened and/or of high moral standing use this issue to polarize Americans for their own gain. Funny they should think that we are all so stupid – – we are watching.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  2. Robert

    The Mortgage Crisis – The Katrina of the middle class!
    the funny thing is that this is happening under the nose of a newly elected democratic president – laws are useless if they are not enforced. President Obama, please wake up to the reality that the program has been a complete failure and get some help to the working families in America now.
    It used to be "it is the economy ...' ; now is two issues Mr. President; Jobs and homes – why is this so hard to understand for our politicians.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  3. Mary Maddox

    Hopefully it woke a few more Americans up to the fact that this plan as written is going to be more expensive than our current unsustainable health care system. To take away from Medicare, tax for 10 years to pay for 6 years and create another Government agency to oversee and add another layer of costs is ridiculous This is a Bernie Maddox scheme for all of us.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  4. Carol Davis

    Washington – hear this. If it is good enough of us, then it is good enough for you. You think you know what the people want? We want what you want. Whatever party you are, what ever you think is a good health care plan – give it to yourself!! THEN we will be happy.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  5. Maurizio

    Tom, you are hilarious! I love reading your letters.....
    But I think the restaurant's name spells "Enoteca" with an E....take from an Italian immigrant like myself.... Eno is related to wine so "Enoteca" would mean something like a "library for wines"
    You don't want our President to look it up and not find it do you? 😉

    February 26, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    A closed mind is just like a closed book that never gets read.

    February 26, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  7. meenas17

    Health care Summit is worth it.

    February 26, 2010 at 9:35 am |