Skip to content
Ralph Nader > Special Features > Letter to Obama on the Take Back the American Dream Conference

Dear President Obama:

Can you imagine President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney refusing year after year to go a few blocks from the White House and address the largest congregation of supporters, Republicans, conservatives, corporatists – call them what you will – and getting away with it?

Well, that is what you and Vice President Joe Biden have been doing to the largest annual gathering of liberal politicos and activists in Washington, D.C. overseen by your faithful supporter, Robert Borosage.

The “Borosage Convention” brings together several thousand people over the course of its three days with its workshops, plenary sessions and other events. Why do you not only decline to appear – as you do by contrast for business conventions and media extravaganzas at the same or nearby hotels – but you so signal your refusal that Mr. Borosage et al’s “Take Back the American Dream Conference,” June 18 to 20, does not even tender a public invitation for fear of having an embarrassment being interpreted by observers and reporters as a rebuke.

You travelled to India a while back to promote Boeing products and Harley Davidson motorcycles. How about this……. will you address the Conference if its organizers display three shiny Harley Davidson motorcycles and a large model of the Boeing Dreamliner with salespeople from both companies standing by with pamphlets and promotional DVDs? Will that be enough to induce your presidential presence before a large ballroom full of your probable supporters who have come to Washington, D.C. from most of the fifty states?

Please ponder the pathos of these people yearning to give you a standing ovation but not wanting to be publically rejected and therefore dejected. Can you spare some time for people whom you know have nowhere to go? If they aren’t important enough, as a result, to be addressed as collaborative citizens, perhaps your sense of pity could serve to activate Limousine One to take you and your staff to their gathering at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

Remember voters are sometimes fueled by enthusiasm. Please ponder.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Nader