October 21st, 2010
12:14 PM ET

Letters to the President: #640 'No more preaching to the choir!'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama is ranging across the country to try to help his party prevent massive losses in Congress in the upcoming midterm. Or at least that’s what he says. Actually, I think he’s just trying to get away from my letters.

Dear Mr. President,

The general manager of the radio station where I started my career, Mr. Cooke, drove way too fast, smoked Camel cigarettes, and moved around with more constant energy than almost anyone else I’ve met.

He also had a sense of humor that was as dry as Death Valley. One time as we were returning from a remote broadcast down a long stretch of Alabama highway, he was blistering along at 90 miles an hour when a car coming toward us pulled out to pass another. As the gap between our vehicles dwindled, and a head-on collision loomed, he kept the pedal to the metal and in his deep, unflappable radio voice said, “I hope he makes it.”

He liked to tell a story of another story of a time he and his family were running late to a reunion in a nearby town. When they arrived, everyone was eating, so the Cookes quickly loaded up their plates and waded into the tables to find seats. They chatted with the nearest folks and scanned the room for recognizable relatives, but that proved futile. “We suddenly realized that we were at the wrong reunion,” he would deadpan each time he told the story, to uproarious laughter from his audience. He loved telling the story and always added at the end, “But they were nice people. Even after they knew we weren’t family, they asked us to stay!”

I mention all of this because I’ve been watching your last minute swings around the country trying to drum up votes for your Dems, and, like West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, I have the feeling that you are spending too much time with family. That is to say, you are appearing far too often with crowds that already love you, and who frankly, don’t need to see you.

October 21st, 2010
11:05 AM ET
October 21st, 2010
10:45 AM ET