November 14th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #664 'Let's talk about your pal, Rep. Pelosi'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama has voiced support for Rep. Nancy Pelosi. She won’t be Speaker of the House anymore, but hey…that doesn’t mean she has to pack for home.

Dear Mr. President,

I’m not sure what to make of your comment that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been an “outstanding partner” for you. On one hand, I understand that some of your key legislation was steered through some very treacherous waters and without her hand on the tiller it might have run aground. On the other hand, the election indicated that the voters are not so pleased with the results of your partnership. So I suppose the question should be: Has she been a good partner for the nation as a whole?

I’m not saying this in a snarky way. It’s a legitimate question that cuts to that central puzzle: How much should a leader pursue his or her agenda, and how much should it be bent to the will of the people?

On the populist side, I understand the argument that hey, it’s our government, our country, why the heck doesn’t Washington just do what we want? Sure, that way of thinking could lead to a spate of “free ice cream Fridays,” or a Patrick Henry Day, but it could also lead to a much more satisfied populace. Hey, who wouldn’t like to get rid of all those pesky taxes on gasoline?

But there are, of course, inherent pitfalls in that way of thinking. Cheap gasoline would be great right up until the roads started falling apart for lack of maintenance, and the street lights all burned out, and the police were no longer writing speeding tickets. Mind you, that would be a positive for me since I personally have great faith in the idea of a speed-limitless world, but you get my point.

Still, let’s circle around to Rep. Pelosi again. Even if you have enjoyed working with her, the question of her keeping a leadership position in your party is an important one. You must weigh your comfort with her, against the nation’s apparent and fairly widespread discomfort, and decide which way the scales should tilt. It’s tough, I’ll admit.

But remember that presidents are judged not merely by the way they lead, but also by the company they keep.

I trust your Sunday is going well. We are wrapped up in early holiday preparations, trying to ease the crush that is sure to come later. Which reminds me: Should we send your Christmas card to the general White House address, or is there a special one for the season?


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. chris riley

    You have championed so much against bullying in your shows.

    Have you seen the recent Highlander ads? Talk about bullying in the coporate sense.

    These ads imply that if your parents are poor they are substandard and so are you.

    I can not believe in 2010 any corporate executive, with an 1/8 brain would approve these ads.

    What message are they trying to send? And to who?

    America should boycott Highlander and send a message to all kids, whether rich or poor, your parents, your family and your community love you.

    You do not need a fancy car to take you home, your need a loving home to go to.


    November 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  2. Marie

    Good Afternoon, The President has alot on
    his plate, but he promised to bring jobs
    to America & fight to keep jobs in America.
    I feel this is part of the reason so many
    republicans were voted in. The President
    I do realize the mess this country is
    in is not all of his fault, this mess
    we are in goes back to past President's
    but why isn't our President trying to do
    something about jobs in America. If there
    were jobs we wouldn't have to worry about
    health care. The jobs would provide health
    care most likely. Also why isn't the President
    trying to change the NAFTA bill that President
    Bill Clinton signed. President Bill Clinton
    made a huge mistake signing that bill
    sending alot thousands of jobs out of the
    United States in the long run unemploying
    thousands of Americans. We need jobs in
    the United States.
    We also could create jobs by hiring americans
    to have jobs standing at the borders & stop
    illegal immagrants from coming into the
    United States costing us Americans millions
    of dollars. Thank you for you time,
    Everyone have a great weekend. I personally
    was very happy with the message that was
    sent to our President by the election
    results. Again, everyone have a great
    weekend. Thank You.

    November 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  3. Merle Dunn

    You are right on Tom,it does appear that Rep.Pelosi did whatever it took to get some of
    the bills passed mainly The Health Bill Reform.
    Our President is taking all the credit for everything that has been passed,so it appears he will do anything to get what he wants passed not considering what the people want,and he will continue to do the same as long as he is our President.
    Keep writing your letters maybe one or two might get the message over to how the country
    should be up for a change.

    November 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm |