Letters to the President: #874 'A campaign plan for any man or woman'
(From left) Bachmann, Paul, Gingrich, Cain, Pawlenty, Santorum and Romney will participate in the debate on June 13.
June 12th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #874 'A campaign plan for any man or woman'

Reporter's Note: The Republicans are growing more serious about selecting a candidate to run against President Obama. I, on the other hand, remain precisely as serious today about writing letters to the White House as I was yesterday.

Dear Mr. President,

The Republicans are assembling in New Hampshire for their first big debate, and I am headed that way, too. I know that most of the country is, at best, only mildly interested in the 2012 presidential race at this point. (At worst, they are rolling their eyes and saying, “Oh no, not again!”) Still, it is interesting to watch how these contests shape up.

Related: Leading candidates set to meet in first New Hampshire debate

Since you’ve only been in one yourself, and you’re facing your first re-election bid, let me share some pointers that I would give to any contender.

(1) Be patient: Staking out a claim too early on what your “big issues” are going to be is a rookie mistake. Remember how everyone was convinced the last election was going to be about Iraq, only to see the economy roar up to seize the stage?

(2) Shoot straight: I know that the political pros in D.C. have a million different ways of parsing out every message, and controlling every reaction, and essentially trying to turn candidates into little more than breathing versions of those Disneyland animatronic presidents. Especially now, I think people are just tired of having things sold to them. As much as you can, say what you mean and mean what you say; I think people will respect that even if they disagree with your policies.

(3) Worry about your game plan, not the other guy’s: If you react to everything your opponent does, you let him (or her) determine the entire tempo of the game - and then the only reaction that will matter is yours when he takes the oath instead of you.

(4) Do not underestimate your opposition: There is no surer way to expose yourself to defeat than by assuming you can’t be beaten.

(5) Run like you have something to prove: Frankly, considering your poll numbers and the state of the economy, you do.

Anyway, I need to pack a few things and head to the airport shortly. Call if you get a moment.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. DANA in Alaska

    Is it echoing here or is it just my brain?Doesn't matter,I'm really not impressed with the choices for republicans for this race.Osama Obama has to be stopped.The only "MAN" I think can stop him is Colin Powell.I've been impressed with him since the 91 campaign against Iraq.If he still wants to call himself an American and a Republican it's time to stand up and be counted.

    June 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  2. ricky

    Tonight I noticed a head line on one of the news broadcast websites "Ala. Tornado Survivors Struggle to Receive Grants." Before I read the head line I was checking the DOD contracts awarded to companies for the past months. Over a billion dollars awarded in a matter of months for different projects for the Armed Forces. I am a retired Army Sergeant, I understand the importance of keeping our fighting force well armed and prepared but that same fighting force is fighting for those people in Alabama. Those Men, Women, and Children need help, We are fighting for a country that needs help. We are coming up on campaign time. Presidential candidates will be debating on topics but only caring about their own personal agenda. We need to step up as a nation and help those who need it. I didn't fight for this country so that the civilians that fell victim of a natural disaster can't get help. There needs to be real change. This country needs a real change.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:03 am |