July 23rd, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Letters to the President: #915 'Meltdown'

Reporter's Note: President Obama remains embroiled in the debt ceiling talks after what looked like a very bad day for D.C.

Dear Mr. President,

Wow! What a meltdown! When you trotted out late Friday afternoon to talk about how House Speaker John Boehner walked away from your negotiations, I was really surprised. I mean, I know the situation between the two big parties is not good, but jeesh.

This feels like when you have married friends, and you know that they have been having some friction, but all of a sudden you hear that they have divorced. Well, I guess that is a little extreme, but it’s a little like that.

So what now? Out of all the things I heard in the wake of your presser and then Speaker Boehner’s, two things hit me as important, especially in terms of trying to get past this: You said talks of some sort have to continue, not next week or next month, but tomorrow. And he said the relationship between you and him is not, to his mind, permanently damaged. That is at least a start.

Having fights and airing out deep divisions is natural of course. And if we want to look for a silver lining, maybe that is one we can consider here. You had a chance to blow off some steam and say what you think, and so did he. You let your followers know that even if you are giving up things for a compromise, you don’t like it and so did he. Maybe with that pressure released, somehow you can both ultimately feel a little better back at the table.

At least, let’s hope so. Because here is something else that you both agree on: While a fight is bad, not reaching an agreement as a result, would be even worse.

I’m back from New York today, if you want to call.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1
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