October 20th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

Letters to the President: #639 'Preparing for the morning after'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The much anticipated midterm elections are bearing down on us now like a grizzly that sniffs a Snickers in your backpack. So I have only a few letter writing days left before the big event. I mean, it’s not like I’ll stop at that point, but still…

Dear Mr. President,

Two weeks from today you’ll be looking at the big board and counting up the seats following the big midterm vote, and no doubt you are already calculating what you’ll say. If your Democrats escape with relatively little damage or none at all (hey, it could happen….well, ok, probably not...) your task is easy. You stand up in front of the TV cameras and say, “That was interesting. Now, what’s for lunch?”

But if they get slammed to the turf as so many of the political pundits are predicting, then I think you may need to choose your words more carefully. Fortunately, you have me to help with that, and I’ve already given it some thought.

Here’s what I have in mind:

“My fellow Americans, that was some night, wasn’t it? I was following the results pretty closely until about 11 pm, but I grew so tired of Boehner driving past, blowing his horn, and yelling ‘Who is Mr. Speaker, now?’ that I just turned off the TV and went to bed.

“But today is a new day and I want to say two things. First, congratulations to all the winners and my sincere condolences to all the…uh…not winners. Second, let me assure you from the bottom of my heart that I am thrilled with the results. You, the voters, have spoken, and just as you cried out for change with my election two years ago, you have carried that standard forward once again. This is a day for celebration. It matters not which party gained or which one lost. What matters is that the message from you to us remains consistent and strong.

“As soon as all our new members of Congress find parking spots for their Hyundais, and carry their little cardboard boxes full of office supplies in, I will invite all of them to the White House for a meeting. Or, if there are too many, maybe to the Radisson. There, without regard for party affiliation, I will renew the pledge I made right after my own election. I will tell them that I stand ready to hear their ideas, to share mine, and to work toward a reasonable compromise that allows us to move forward with the work our voters demand.

“Sure, I may have to give up on plans that I was really looking forward to, and probably the rest of our elected leaders will have to do the same. But as much as we are supposed to be leaders, we are also supposed to be servants…your servants…and we stand ready to serve.”

So that’s my idea. I know it’s not as satisfying as getting mad, and laying blame, and searching the countryside for scapegoats. But it is a way of getting things done. And if the DC crowd does not find a way to accomplish a few more of the things that voters want, then you’re all likely to see a lot more elections like this one.

My daughter, btw, has headed back to Georgia Tech after a wonderful visit home. Go Jackets!


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Annie Kate

    Despite what the election results are in a few days I wonder if in 2 years from now we can say that the country as a whole won or lost in this election. If the election results turn out to be that getting legislation passed in the next 2 years is even harder than it was before then did anyone really win?

    October 20, 2010 at 7:56 pm |