Tom Foreman | BIO
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Reporter's Note: President Obama is increasingly gearing up to try to help his party stave off predicted big losses this fall. I, however, continue gearing up every day to send a letter to the White House. Hey, someone has to do it.
Dear Mr. President,
It's my understanding that your pal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is shifting into full of battle mode for the fall elections, saying things to the effect of "C'mon Dems, let’s get out there and show America what we’ve accomplished!"
That will be tricky business to be sure, because as you know the problem in politics is that no matter how loudly you say "Yes, I did," someone in the opposition will be yelling just as loudly, "No, you didn't!"
So in the next few months I expect to hear your side saying lot of things like "We spent a fortune pushing economic stimulus measures out there to keep the economy from sinking." And your foes will say, "Yes, you spent a fortune. And the economy is still a wreck." You'll say, "We passed health care." And they'll say, "Yes, you did. And the economy is still a wreck." You’ll say, "In Iraq and Afghanistan we…uh…well, uh…" And they'll say, "Yes, that's right. And the economy is still a wreck."
No doubt you see what I am driving at. As long as one out of ten Americans does not have a job, the foreclosure crisis remains alive and well, and even the folks who have jobs and houses are still waking up worried about whether they'll be ok tomorrow, I'm afraid the Speaker's strategy is going to be a very hard sell at best.
Remember John McCain back during your election? When he made that infamous "the fundamentals of our economy are sound" comment, you jumped on him like a cat on a grasshopper, and you did not let up until the voting was done and he'd been whipped hard. Now, however, you and your side are in kind of the same boat. If you say, "We’ve made progress," a lot of voters will reasonably ask, "Where?" And if you say, "We haven’t been able to do as much as we wanted," they will say, "You have had control of the House, the Senate, and the Oval Office for a year and a half. Why not?"
I think it is going to come down to this: If you can answer those questions in a straightforward, convincing manner that does not make America’s "spin" alarms start ringing, then your party will come out of November in relatively good shape. But if Speaker Pelosi, you, or anyone else just goes out there trying to just slap a fresh coat of paint on the same old problems, your side will be hammered mercilessly.
It’s not like the public is at all ready to embrace the Republicans. Voters still pretty much don’t like them. But I'm just saying you must remember that you promised change…and every time someone on your side tries one of these "same old politics" maneuvers, it hurts your chances even if it is intended to help.
Hope your Monday is off to a good start. I'm traveling back to New Orleans to check on the latest oil news, and no doubt to enjoy a shrimp po'boy or two.
Call if you get a moment. Use my cell.
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