Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ford: Leadership Is Wanted

Every incumbent Democrat should be on notice after Senator Bayh's announcement. Voters are distressed by the paralysis and dysfunction of Congress and the Senate. And, are in no mood for the normal score keeping ways of Washington; they want answers and jobs - maybe in reverse order.

But in a shocking response to Bayh's announcement, some senior Washington Democrats are blaming Bayh instead of the sorry governing process they preside over in Washington right now. That is a big mistake.

In a little over a year, my party has lost its way. And unless we get it back, we will forfeit our majorities. The White House bears responsibility for the situation we are in today as well.

My message to all of my Washington friends - simplify the agenda. It is about the economy and jobs. Work with Democrats and Republicans to get a jobs bill done that includes middle class tax cuts and significant help for homeowners on their second mortgages. In short, help the main street consumer. Stop playing class warfare by pitting wall street versus main street - this solves nothing, it only exacerbates our collective problems.

And last, stop playing small-minded politics. Be bigger than Republicans on all the issues, and get things done for the American people. By that I mean, work with them, cooperate with them and find common ground on the economy and national security, where you can . The American people believed President Obama's election would lead to a different atmosphere and political climate in Washington. So far, he and the Democrats haven't proved the voters right. We have several months to get it right. Get on it.

Finally, some in my party - the extreme left - believe that any outreach to Republicans represents betrayal of some sort. Washington Democrats should ignore the extremists and represent the rest of us and get things done. Our country is waiting on us to lead. As a matter of fact, the country needs us to lead.

If we do these things, the politics at the ballot box in November will take care of itself.