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December 12th, 2011
07:47 PM ET

Letters to the President #1057: 'The GOP debates'

Reporter's Note: I write to the president every day because I’m pretty sure he appreciates my advice. Actually, I’m not sure of that at all, but you can never tell.

Dear Mr. President,

It was lovely seeing you and your family last night at the big Christmas In Washington concert. It’s always a nice diversion amid all the craziness of D.C., and I hope you had a nice time. It was rather entertaining to see you and your girls up there chatting it up with Justin Bieber after the show.

My wife, younger daughter and I passed Conan O’Brien in the backstage area, but we didn’t stop to chat. You know how it is: He’s probably a fan of mine and if we’d started chatting we’d still be there!

Speaking of still being there, I’ve been watching this seemingly endless string of Republican debates (or as I like to call it, Survivor: GOP) and I think you had better be braced for a simple, straightforward fact: While they may destroy themselves in this process of selecting a candidate, the odds are against it. In the end, the Republicans are likely to emerge from this mess not merely with a contender, but with one that they will rally behind with a vengeance.

Come on, you remember your own primary! It looked like a Democratic bar fight; Hillary was up, Edwards was surging, you were throwing haymakers, Republicans were the ones chortling back then over the disarray. Then in a flash it was all over. You were the party’s pick, running hard, and Bob’s-your-uncle suddenly you were the winner of the whole shebang!

Don’t think for a minute that the same thing can’t happen on the Republican side, and frankly for precisely the same reason. As much as people came to like you in the final vote, the primary reason you had a chance of winning their support was overwhelming frustration with the man who was in the White House and the party that had put him there.

So my advice on this busy Monday: Avoid the temptation to be entertained by the apparent confusion on the Republican side right now. Because the contest is just getting started, and a few stumbles out of the blocks does not mean the other runners will not give you all the race you want between here and the finish line.

Regards,
Tom

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