March 16th, 2010
08:49 AM ET

Dear President Obama #421: Driven to distraction...or somewhere...

Reporter's Note: President Obama, I guess, doesn’t drive anymore. I do. And I write letters. One every day to the White House. That’s some pretty good LPR…uh, Letters Per Reporter.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/16/obama.limo.jpg caption="President Barack Obama gets out of his chauffeured limousine."]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

If I were President, I don’t care how fancy the big-bullet-proof-bomb-deflecting-Kevlar-coated-waffle-cooking-car was that I inherited; all I’d care about was whether or not I could drive it. Seriously. Do you think any guy ever has looked at a Lamborghini, or a Ferrari, or (in my case) a functional Vega and said “Wow, I wish I could be a passenger in that sweet ride!” No. Because driving is where it’s at. Accelerators, shifters, brakes, horns, the radio and that squirty thing that cleans the windshield; all your domain. Feel the power.

Ok. I’ll stop now, I know I’m just making you jealous because I’m pretty sure you’ll never get to drive a car again. Even when you leave office I suspect you’ll be under some kind of security mandate that says you have to be chauffeured around forever, and while some people may dig that, it’s one of my definitions of hell. That and two hundred miles of road without a Dairy Queen.

Ok. I said I’d stop and now I will. I mention it only because I spent a fair portion of the day at the Hyundai plant down here in Alabama, and trust me…I’m no shill for corporate America…but wow! It was really fun. Robots, shiny objects, lots of people working and smiling while they did it, plus a new car smell all over the place. The factory is just south of Montgomery and has spawned all sorts of supplier plants all over the place, so more jobs there too. I’m doing a big story on it for tonight for our Building Up America series, so you’ll get to see for yourself.

There is a point to all this. As I was touring around, watching the sparks fly and deciding which color I liked best I thought, “This is really refreshing.” It was nice talking to so many people who have jobs, are making good paychecks, are paying for their houses, and are reasonably confident that they’ll still be employed next week. I know that plenty of people in plenty of places are really struggling right now, but even as we remember their plight, I think it is worth reminding ourselves about what better days look like too.

If nothing else, it’ll help us recognize them when they come down the road again. Call if you get a break, although I’m guessing from all the health care buzz you’re bit under the bus. No worries. Still, you’ve got my number…don’t you?



Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tim Gibson

    Aside from the HCB (Health Care Debate) being long in the tooth, and most of us who are not movers and shakers in the city of angels or living on the upper east side, we are reminded that business goes where the profit goes.

    With high tax rates and a budget that does not balance any way you tilt it bringing on yet more taxes, that is when you find yourself south of Montgomery doing business. That is when you think maybe the long in the tooth HCB should be put to rest so the work of rebuilding our economy and our nation can really begin.

    Yes, the sparks fly in the debate but the assembly line has no shiny things coming off of it and it may be time to ask, how much do we invest in it before we reinvest in America and fixing the other problems that are wrong and dragging behind us like a sack of dead chickens.

    March 16, 2010 at 9:46 am |