September 19th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT: #608: 'The Tea Party Parade'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Democrats seem to see the Tea Party as largely a problem for Republicans, and it is. But as I note in my daily letter to the White House, that movement’s momentum may not stop after it passes the RNC’s door.

Dear Mr. President,

As the number of microphones in the huddle has increased in pro football, I have been amused by the glimpses we get into the teenager-like fervor of some players; moments of grown men are hooting and hollering as if they are going out to win one for the honor of Ol’ McKinley High School. It’s funny, a little embarrassing, and inspiring all at once.

Just think about it: These guys will get their paychecks no matter the final score, and many of them are already multi-millionaires. On any given play, they have more to gain by playing it safe than by going all out and risking a possible career ending injury. And yet time and again coaches find ways to persuade these guys to risk it all on winning.

That’s kind of what was happening with your campaign a couple of years ago at this time. Voters, volunteers, donors, and other politicians had been swept up in the possibility that you could actually win, and because of that they were willing to go way beyond their comfort zone to make it happen. We all saw the result. The power of such commitment can turn losers into winners, and hopeless causes into hopeful ones.

And right now the Tea Party folks have harnessed just such a burst of power. Only a few months back they were a disorganized mess; no clear direction, no ability to focus their fractious views, and both of the major parties were treating them like an outlaw 4H Club at best. Now? Even though it remains to be seen how much impact they will have in the big vote in November, they are carrying on as if they are going to take over Capitol Hill, the White House, the Supreme Court and everything in between.

We’ve both been around politics long enough, to know that inspiration and enthusiasm alone are not enough to successfully storm the castle. But neither are they to be regarded lightly. I write this as a caution that you might want to share with your fellow Dems even as they delight in the havoc the Tea Party is causing for Republicans. Because remember, you ran on a promise of change and it won; and although the Tea Partiers’ vision of change is very different than yours, that is what they are running on too.

Call if you can. I know we never got around to watching a football game together last season, and I share some of the blame. My schedule was just crazy. But this year, let’s really give it a shot. I’m sure we could both use the break.



soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Dennis Whicker

    Dear Anderson & Staff,

    I used to consider myself and family middle class. The politicians in Washington, State and local Governments act worst than my children when they were young. This country of ours, the USA is in deep deep trouble. I feel truthfully scared for my 19 and 20 yr chilren and mt=y grandaughter on the way.

    Our politicians play the pointing game, I'm sticking with my pary and to hell with their constituants. This type of politics has to stop and now, or the USA is on the way to self destruction.

    No, I am not a so called Tea Party so called ultra conservative. I am a voting American that wants Government that works for a change. We vote these people in to go to work for us, and all they do is play child games.

    Our infasructure is worse than ever, our financial reform is finally getting back on track and some things are getting done. You politicians get to work and quit playing with my middle class family.

    Gee let's see, had our Government done nothing when the recent financial crisi fell, we the middle class and poor would be starving, and the fat cats would be eating their steaks.

    Bottom line get to work, answer questions from all of the media outlets that offer kinf invitations, instead of unfair FOX network, Rush gold microphone idiot and Glenn Beck.


    Rock Island, IL

    September 19, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  2. Kula Ellison

    Hi 😀 Mr Tom Forman, Hi the teaparty seem to pick & choose what topcs they think they are important. Ha ha maybe they are like the NFL It is more like 12 minutes of full play per game 😀 the takes about 4 hours to play out.
    Kula May R Ellison

    September 19, 2010 at 9:51 am |