March 11th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #781 'Oklahoma City is more than OK'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: I’m still on the road, and still writing letters.

Dear Mr. President,

Have you been to Oklahoma City lately? I know you travel a lot, but I can’t recall if I have seen you here. I told you that I was headed this way yesterday, but I must admit I had no idea what I was in for.

Now, I made my first trip to Oklahoma City about 26 years ago, and back then it was just a relatively uninspiring western town. Tidy. Busy enough. I recall a big, abstract sculpture downtown and a great rock and roll radio station. (Called something like The Cat?) I heard the Dire Straits song “Money for Nothing,” for the first time as I passed through OKC. But beyond that, the town did not strike me as remarkable.

How times have changed.

For the past couple of decades, as the city has worked its way past that terrible bombing, the local government has used a voter approved, one cent sales tax to remake the place: a new ballpark, a new sports and concert arena, refurbished parks, schools, museums and along with those have come new offices, new hotels, new restaurants, and on and on it goes.

The acquisition of their NBA team, The Thunder, three years ago was a crowning achievement, and the excitement over being in the “big leagues” so to speak is something you can practically feel on the streets.

The results are everywhere. OKC enjoys one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and a lower than average cost of living; sales tax revenues are soaring and the whole area is roaring back from the recession. On top of which, it is just seems like a really cool, fun place too be.

So if you get a chance in the near future, I think you really should stop by. Hey, for all that is going wrong in the country these days, it is awfully nice to spend some time where things are going right.

Hope your week is wrapping up well. Call if you get a moment.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. SABUL

    I think is a world issue! thats is what this despotic monster called Gadhafi needs to know now.Because we cannot sit back and watch this democracy hungry people of Libya die everyday.Now where is the conflict of as helping this people lies if we are to uphold the freedom of democracy anywhere?

    March 11, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  2. Tim Gibson

    Maybe OKC has not been raped and plundered by our elected leadership as we have here in CA. High taxes are only outweighed by regulations and rules to prevent any type of life outside of an economy based on taxes which leaves us with a great big bag of nothing.

    March 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  3. John M. Neal

    This is my own letter to the White House. I am an attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee, and have been practicing for 33 years:

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    I am writing with regard to the situation in Libya. I am listening to the President's press conference, and I must say I am sorely disappointed. The president is willing to make only one real committment: That he will think hard about the situation in Libya.

    As Abraham Lincoln eloquently stated, this nation was conceived in liberty. We are supposedly the world leader, and the defender of the weak. There was a time when our country really did speak softly, but carry a big stick.

    In my view, the Obama administration has shown the world that we are a spineless paper tiger. It appears President Obama is simply going to think about Libya until the freedom fighters have been destroyed, and he can then say there is no point in intervention because the war is over.

    I confess I am embarrassed that my government is so devoid of backbone and leadership.

    Sincerely yours,

    John M. Neal
    Knoxville, Tennessee

    March 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm |