March 24th, 2010
10:05 AM ET

Dear President Obama #429: “This is not a big *** deal"

Reporter's Note: President Obama reads my letters every day. At least I think so. Or I like to think so. Either way, I write them…day after day to Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

President Obama has now officially signed the health care reform legislation, using more than twenty pens in the process.  Funny, it never takes me more than one to write a whole letter to the White House every single day.

Dear Mr. President,

That Joe Biden is funnier than a German jazz band. When he lobbed the f-bomb right at the podium during your big health care celebration event, I nearly spit out my Cheerios. And the look on your face was priceless! It was like I could hear the entire play-by-play going on in your head, “Ok, Joe…you did a good introduction. Now, step this way, let’s shake hands. You’re saying something to me, not sure what it is, but there are microphones right there…and…and what? WHAT? Oh no…you didn’t.”

Perhaps I’m being a tad cavalier, but for all the serious things going on in DC, I can’t get too worked up over matters like this. Should a vice president be spouting like Popeye on a three day drunk? No, probably not. But will it cause the oceans to run red, locusts to descend from the skies, and Duke to double dribble in the championship? Again…no, probably not.

I wish our language were a little cleaner. I’m not always proud of my word choices. For example, I once recall saying “spectral” when I really meant “ethereal.” And there were nuns nearby! Boy, was my face red.

But I also know that all you pols are playing in a pretty high stakes, dirty, and brutal world, and I certainly understand if some of you let off a little lexical steam now and then. (Oh yes, I used the word “lexical,” I did it. I did it, and am glad, I tell you. Mwah hahahaha!)

Still, I am astonished at the inability of you public figures to figure out this simple axiom: Everywhere, all the time, you should assume that someone is recording what you say. Whether on cell phone, or by webcam, or by…oh say, that giant podium with the microphones on it…you have to take it for granted that someone is listening and if you say something untoward it’s going to create a stir.

That said, I understand the excitement. You all have labored long and hard on this whole health care thing, and you dragged it back from the dead several times, so enthusiasm is warranted. At least on your side. I suspect on the other side…well, the cussing has just started.

Give me a call if you feel inclined, and conference in Biden if you wish. But make sure you warn me. I’d hate to have it on speaker with the kids in the room. Ha!



soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    That's great. Love the article.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  2. meenas17

    Reviving a dead man and making him alert is a miracle.
    But ,keeping him alive for very long is an impossibilty.
    Obama has done the first part remarkably.
    The second one would take the life out of him,as there is wholesale opposition.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  3. Chris

    Great article, very funny read.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:52 am |