February 8th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #750 'Out with the old'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama seems to be repositioning himself as he grinds into the new year. Me? I’m digging deeper into the same trench of a letter a day to Pennsylvania Avenue.

Dear Mr. President,

I am in a “throwing out” mood. I went through my closet this weekend and the pile of clothing for the donation box just kept growing and growing. “You’re scaring me a bit,” my wife said as I sang loudly (Muskrat Love, in case you’re wondering) and tossed pants, shirts, and suits to the floor faster than the cast of Jersey Shore. Ha!

You might think that they were out of date, or old, or frayed around the edges (which, I should mention, are the gripes my daughters have with me,) and that was true in plenty of the cases. But in just as many I simply realized that I was never going to wear those togs again and I needed the space.

We’ve been doing this throughout our house, and my wife has come up with a great way of thinking. She looks at any given object and asks herself, “Would I want to move this into a new home?” If the answer is no, then out it goes. (Which, btw, is the reason I make myself scarce when she has lunch with any divorced friends.) We are not wasteful people. We are not just making room for more consumption. We are merely reassessing what we need and want in our lives.

I think this is a great idea for you, too. Not for the White House. I suspect there would be a ruckus if you put Teddy Roosevelt’s ottoman, or James Garfield’s dancing slippers on the curb for pickup. What I mean is in terms of policy. Here you are barely rolling into your second two years, you have a big re-election campaign cooking, and the last thing you need is to be stumbling around the clutter of your first two years. Pitch it out! Call a press conference. “Hey everyone, you know all that stuff I worked on for the first two years? Yeah. Done with that. We’re on to new things around here, and I don’t want to hear a lot of annoying questions about how it does or doesn’t fit in with what we’ve done so far.”

I don’t know if it will really work, but it’s worth a shot. After all, we all have good intentions when we buy those striped sweaters. Then one day we find them lurking high on some dark shelf, and we know that they may have been right for their time, but now even the moths don’t want them. Which makes me wonder if I’m doing a good thing by donating them instead of just throwing them away, but that’s a subject for another day.

Call if you get a moment. Going for a run this morning, but then into the office.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Ronny

    I admire your courage and people are suffering and the people are living poorly and the dictator should be trailed and killed and should leave egypt for good

    February 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  2. Shera LC

    I love it! It absolutely fits into this scenario! Get rid of garbage & bring in something fresh that will brighten the future & give people hope.. Exactly what we need. I dont know about the rest of you but Im sick of hearing how its all the past administrations fault & how Obama has to clean it up. Does it really matter? Just get in & get the job done instead of pointing the finger.

    I want to see action over the next two years! So, stop complaining, Mr. President, and do your job!

    Sincerely, (someone who did NOT vote for you), Shera

    February 8, 2011 at 9:23 am |