November 7th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #657 'In denial'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama is no doubt using this Sunday to reassess his way forward following this past week’s brutal election. At least he has the comfort of knowing my letters to the White House will continue just as always.

Dear Mr. President,

A lot of folks think that you are in denial about what happened in the election this past week, that you somehow can’t fully accept that this was a repudiation of your policies by the voters. Hey, I understand. I still can’t fully accept that Bonnie Bengster turned down my invitation to the 7th grade spring dance.

Still, you and your fellow Dems made quite a deal of saying that it was a “communication” problem, suggesting that the only reason people voted against your side was because they didn’t understand what you’ve done. I suspect that was mainly spin. I’m not convinced you are really that cavalierly writing off the train that rolled over you as a figment of the voters’ collective imagination. I think you know precisely what happened and it aches like a broken bone.

No one likes being told that his ideas were not good ones. And let’s face it: In many of the matters you are dealing with we won’t really know if your approach was wrong or right for many years. So some voters think your approach is brilliant, some think it is absurd, and who the heck knows where the truth lies? So, even if you were in denial, again, I can understand.

Being right - or thinking you are right - is tricky business. The leader who chooses a bold course and triumphs is hailed as a genius. The one who chooses a bold course and fails is damned as an idiot. Confidence and foolhardiness walk hand-in-hand.