August 13th, 2012
05:45 PM ET

Letters to the President #1302: 'Mr. Ryan goes to Washington'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama all the time and he never responds. Perhaps he has other things on his mind. 

Dear Mr. President,

So now you know who you are up against! Well, I guess you already knew about Mitt Romney (at least it appears so, judging from your ads. Ha!) but now you know that he has Paul Ryan as a running mate.

If you'd like, I'll offer a few words of advice. Actually, I'm going to do that anyway, so you may as well play along.

First: Don't underestimate him. I've been following Ryan's exploits for some time, and he appears to be a smart, thoughtful, engaged guy who has big ideas about how Washington should be changed. You've noticed it too, judging by the way you've attacked his budget proposals. If he didn't matter, you wouldn't bother.

Second: Don't overestimate him. You may notice that the previous description also fully applies to you...especially when you first ran for the presidency...and you have clearly found that grand aspirations and intelligence are not enough to remake D.C. He is a formidable opponent, but he is the vice presidential pick...you opponent remains Mitt Romney.

Third: Don't buy into your party's line about Ryan being an extremist. Sure, you can sell that on the campaign trail and I suppose you will, but the mere fact that he has different ideas about how this country should operate doesn't make him a lunatic. Remember, plenty of voters think you're an extremist, too.

That's it for now. Suffice to say, the race has grown decidedly more interesting. Now, let's see where it goes.

Call if you can. I'm off this week (thank goodness) but around.

Tom Foreman

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