April 19th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #820 'Another hard round of poll vaulting'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The latest polls from Quinnipiac and Gallup look like some tough reading for President Obama. Thank goodness my letters are such a pleasure for him!

Dear Mr. President,

Another month, another batch of lousy approval ratings for you. It’s like a broken record, isn’t it? I was looking over some of the latest polls and it seems to be the same story that has followed you for quite some time: Lots of voters like you as a person; not so many when it comes to you as a policy-maker. Kind of like what happened to me when I was treasurer for my 4-H club. Um, except for the “liking me personally” part. Sort of made me regret that I didn’t make off with the hay ride funds.

Still, you shouldn’t let it get to you.

I suppose if the rest of us had pollsters following us around all the time we’d face similar issues. For example, I would say that my kids have pretty much enjoyed my company all of their lives, but my policies about things like keeping the bathroom clean, feeding the dog, and not texting at the table have occasionally caused some negative spikes in the family numbers.

My wife has also had some doubts about the planks in my platform, despite casting a vote in favor of marriage 25 years ago. (Mind you, I’m pretty sure she’s looked into the possibilities of impeachment a time or two, but cooler heads have prevailed.) She has never much liked my “June is Jimi Hendrix month!” policy. She clearly thinks my “jeans on top of, rather than inside the hamper” agenda item is suspect. And you don’t want to even bring up my “oh, how much trouble can a pet be?” plan, trust me.

That said, somehow I have stayed in office all these years. My secret? I listen to my electorate. Even though I may be stubborn in some of my views, and I may pursue a course long past the point that reason has left the room, in the end I do pay attention to what the voters say. I remind myself that even though I am 50 percent in charge (or 40 percent if you ask my wife) that I still work for the good of all, and sometimes that means if not jumping to respond to the polls, at least giving them a good look and asking myself, “Now, I wonder what’s bothering them?”

I trust all is good on Pennsylvania Avenue. Call when you can.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Charles

    Yes sir i was just watching cnn and heard a report about unemployment?? I guess what my question is. I am a retired us war vet, I applied for a job at a local store, not to be a manager or some high up postion but it was funny that i was tured down from the job not for my job history but becouse i owe money, I did not get a min wage job for my credit. I spent 16 years in the army went to war twice and non of my histroy could come over my credit, I was only looking for a jod at a sport store. May be you are some one there at CNN can ask why a war vet. cant get a job of there credit???

    April 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |