March 18th, 2011
04:18 PM ET

Letters to the President: #788 'The best laid plans'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: Libya is rapidly taking over the headlines again, but Japan’s war with its nuclear reactors remains an important issue, as I note in today’s letter.

Dear Mr. President,

You hear the words “cautiously optimistic” used by government types whenever something slightly good happens in a very bad situation, especially when they are talking about something wildly unpredictable like a natural disaster. I suppose one could argue that you are either optimistic or not, and when you attach the word “cautiously” you are, by definition, not really being optimistic.

All of that said, I can’t blame anyone for being optimistic over the latest news from those Japanese nuclear reactors. After several days of struggling just to get their feet planted, it appears as if the teams on the ground there are waging a credible battle against impending disaster. Not a small feat under the circumstances.

I’ve always been a big believer in plans. They don’t have to be perfect. They can and often should be adjusted. But proceeding with a plan is simply better than just charging ahead.

If I were lost in the woods and had no idea - and I mean I had no idea whatsoever - about where I was headed (kind of like Biden, ha!) I would still come up with a plan. Rather than roaming aimlessly, I would make my best guesses about the terrain (where the streams might lead, which way was north, etc.) and I would base my movements on a plan of action.

So it is in Japan. I know, and I’m sure the teams grappling with those reactors know, that they may have made missteps and may make many more before the crisis is past. But for now, their plan of taking on the reactors one at a time and pulling them under at least some kind of tenuous control, is a good start. And hopefully it will lead to the least damaging finish.

Hope all is well. Call if you can.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. M ichael Capito

    Isn't there some kind of Gel or Foam they can put on the reactor's?????

    March 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  2. Mario

    WHY is our President going on another vacation when everyone else in this country is tightening their belts!! Like he said the government is doing but not HIM.

    I really think this need to be talked about and pointed out and by the way how many vacations does one family need to take. As President he has lost touch with the real world………

    March 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  3. Alina Reyes

    I think all journalists should leave Lybia ASAP before they are used as human shields.

    March 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm |