Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama is storming the country and calling down storms on the Republicans. Ok, they may deserve it, but I’m wondering if that kind of rainmaking might leave him soaked too.
Dear Mr. President,
I’ve had conversations with people around the country over the past couple of days, and I have to say I am now convinced that telling voters that the Republicans will do worse is just not going to cut it this fall. I’m sorry, but it seems to be true.
The failures of the GOP to meet public expectations have been widely publicized, readily grasped, and you’re preaching to the choir in a lot of places. Sure, Republicans have risen a little bit in the polls, but just a little. The main problem is that your party and the GOP are collectively so far down in public esteem.
Time and again the folks I was talking to sighed, told me how much they believed in you two years ago, and how disappointed they have been since. Now, in fairness, some made a point of saying they don’t think it’s all your fault. They still believe you are dedicated to doing a good job and helping the nation dig out of this hole. But even they found such profound fault with both parties that I just can’t see you winning them over by laying into the Republicans so hard.
Look, I said a few days back that I was going to be more positive and I will. So rather than harp further on what you should not be saying, let me talk about a message that might work - kind of like I told you yesterday about students. People in general need to hear specifics about what you have done, why you think it has worked, and what you are going to do next and why you think that will work, too. We have so much negative news swirling all around us that I think a lot of folks almost can’t stand hearing more negativity no matter whom it is aimed at.
That’s all there is to it. If you can meet that challenge, you’ve got a message that will sell. But attacking the Republicans as a mainstay makes you look, I fear, more and more like just another politician. And every soul I talked to who supports you says they believed fundamentally that you would find a way to unite the government - left and right, Democratic and Republican - and frankly every time you say it is the GOP’s fault, you just remind them that you could not get that job done.
If you need help on one of these speeches give me a call. As I’ve always said, I believe when a president calls, good Americans answer.
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