Monday, October 03, 2005

Harold Ford Jr: Above The Fray

It is funny how things work in life sometimes. Today I had a post ready to publish that talked about Tom Delay and his political contributions to certain candidates (not going to say who), among other things.

However, after reading the usual bickering on the right wing blogs and then hearing the way Congressman Harold Ford Jr. conducted himself of televison yesterday in regards to the Tom Delay situation, I decided to be more like Congressman Ford and take the high road.

According to News Hound, Congressman totally changed the tone of the conversation when talking about the Tom Delay matter yesterday in an interview with Fox and Friends. He was cool, calm, collective, but most of all civil.

They write, "Ford was extremely somber and not interested in getting involved with petty political speculation. He told the trio that the DeLay's indictment was not something that he or other Democrats were happy about. Ford reminded everyone that the charges were very serious and suggested that DeLay's behavior reflected on everyone on both sides of the aisle. When it was suggested that DeLay was a victim of partisan poiltics, Ford responded with steely calm reminding them that DeLay had been admonished twice before by Republicans for ethics violations."

News Hound goes on to say went on to say, "After the frenetic gossipy chatter from the F&F trio, Harold Ford Jr.'s dignified strength was a very welcome contrast. His mature composure made the seriousness of the charges against DeLay a reality and viewers were forced to see that this was much more than a political game, at least for that minute."

Simply put, Congressman Ford was a man above partisan bickering.

This is one major things that I love about Congressman Ford--his ability to be above the fray and to work with everyone towards real solutions. This is what we need in our next U.S. Senator because the U.S Senate requires more compromise and the ability to work together than that of the House.

Congressman Ford has a long track record of working with Republicans on key pieces of legislation through tout his distinguished career.

Examples include when Congressman Harold Ford and Congresswoman Melissa Hart’s (R-Penn.) introduced a bill to strengthen the nation’s financial system, which unanimously passed the US House. The "the Check 21 Act," (HR 1474) aims to modernize the nation’s check payment system to keep pace with 21st Century technology.

In 2002, Ford joined up with Tom Osborne (R-Neb.) to lead the fight to save thousands of AmeriCorps volunteer opportunities being cut. When all was said and done, 59 bipartisan members of the House sent a letter to President Bush urging him to support emergency AmeriCorps funding. Later on, 165 other members wrote to the President in support of emergency funding.

In 2003, Congressman Ford co-sponsored a bill with Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-Ill) to help clergy and church lay employees save for retirement. The bill was later approved by the House of Representatives (HR 1533).

Ford also has worked hand and hand with top Republican leadership such as the time he (co-sponsor) joined up with Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to pass legislation that encouraged charitable giving.

So as you can see, Congressman Ford has shown the willingness to not only work with the other side of the isle, but to get things done in a cooperative fashion.

Furthermore, over the years Harold Ford Jr. has received much praise from across the isle for his approach to solving problems in Congress.

  • “So it was nice to hear Rep. Wamp speak with pride of Harold Ford Jr. as a fine congressman and a bridge-builder.” Chattanooga Times, 12/05/98

  • Ed Bryant agrees: “'Harold has really made an effort to reach out and serve in a bipartisan fashion,'' Bryant volunteered to a group of aspiring lawyers during a recent stop in Memphis.” Commercial Appeal, 11/09/98

  • Conservative publication “The Washington Times” calls Harold Ford Jr. “the kind of Democrat that Republicans should fear”: “A young, black politician with deep Tennessee roots, Mr. Ford is the kind of Democrat that Republicans should fear. In a caucus that lacks both ideas and energy, he is full of both . Washington Times, 11/12/02

  • Conservative Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen praised Congressman Ford's fiscal record: "Well I congratulate Harold, because he really is one of the more conservative and I would say level headed members of his party. He is a fiscal watchdog, he wants to make sure we don’t raid the coffers for when we really need it like in emergencies like this one (hurricane relief)." CNBC, Squawk Box, 09/16/05

  • “Ford, a familiar face on television news interviews and often called on as a spokesman for the party, has not hesitated to vote with conservatives on key issues such as banning partial-birth abortion or for prayer in school. He voted to give President Bush authorization to invade Iraq and for cuts in the capital gains tax.” Fox News, 03/10/05

Harold Ford Jr. is a man of immense respect. He is liked on both sides of the political isle and is willing to work with everyone to get the job of the people done. Or as he said it, "I run to put problem solving ahead of partisanship and principle ahead of party."

Congressman Ford has proven that he is ready to be a U.S. Senator and excel, even if his party is not in the majority.

It is our job to get him there.

Note: This post was originally made on Friday afternoon, but is being moved up to Monday so it will remain at the top of the blog for the first of the new week.