Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: Despite grumbling in the ranks, especially from moderates, the Democrats in Congress have elected Nancy Pelosi to continue as their leader. Just as I have elected to continue my series of daily letters to the White House.
Dear Mr. President,
Well, no one should say you Democrats are not fearless. You get slammed with a full house on Election Night, you're playing with something like less than half the stake you held a year ago, and yet your side is doubling down with a new bet on Nancy Pelosi as your leader. That's gutsy, to say the least. Despite all of your difficulties, you remain probably the single most popular politician in the country and she is one of the least popular. Interesting combination.
There are a lot of ways for us outsiders to read it. This could be a slap at you by House Dems who are showing they have more faith in her than in you. It could be a tribute to the way she muscled through some tough legislation. But most of all, it just seems like a way of saying, "We're not backing down on anything. We are proud of health care reform, pleased with the stimulus, we think we are doing what is right for the country. And if the citizens don't like it, that's tough nuts for them ... we're still dealing most of the cards."
It's always fascinating watching someone (or a group of someones) go "all in" and bet so much on being right, especially when the trend is against them - the quarterback who desperately needs a touchdown and goes for the long bomb, the investor who is down to his last dollars and lays it all down for a risky new venture, the poker player with a shaky hand who tries to bluff his way out of going broke.
I always liked that scene in “Tin Cup” when Roy makes a rodeo reference. "You ride 'til she bucks you, or you don’t ride at all." At least I think he's talking about rodeos. Anyway, I've always been partial to that way of thinking, so watching you and your Dems double down when it looks like the cards are running hard against you is kind of exhilarating.
On the other hand, I will offer these words of caution: They call such maneuvers long shots for a reason. They usually don't succeed. To quote another part of “Tin Cup,” "Greatness courts failure."
So good luck with you new, old lineup. I'll be watching to see how it plays out.
Call if you can. I'm still working feverishly on my year-end special, “All the Best, All the Worst of 2010,” but I'll make time to chat if you do.
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