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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford: Role Model for Future Presidents

Gerald Ford

I got the news about former President Gerald Ford’s passing while in New Orleans. After driving through the 9th ward and checking the recovery effort, we got the news that John Edwards was also in the 9th ward – and will declare his candidacy for President for 2008 tomorrow.

I remember Mr. Ford taking over from President Nixon after Watergate and the tense college campuses and protests at the time. I was a university student at UT (pursuing a BBA) then. Ford’s taking over the Presidency was an immediate improvement in the atmosphere in Washington and the country when it happened. Nixon had created a strange atmosphere that split the country. He was paranoid and closed; Ford was honest and open.

I think that whoever is elected in 2008 will produce a similar change in atmosphere. We’ve been long on fear and short on hope. We’ve been long on preaching to the choir and short on making wise decisions with our budgets and international relationships. (For example, it turns out the Saudi’s –not Saddam--are the source of radical Islam that is mass producing Osama bin ladens.

Mr. Edwards is but one of many who will enter the 2008 contest—Democrat and Republican-- with ideas for our future. People are hungry for fresh leadership. Too bad our laws prevent Arnold schwarzznegger from running for President. He’s taking a leadership position on global warming, etc.

The battle of (Presidential candidate) ideas is starting early. The next administration inherits staggering deficits, global economic challenges from China to India and a Middle East being consumed by radical Islam. Anything could happen.

With the Bush administration being so lame duck and offering nothing new to pay attention to, I expect the public will be increasingly focused on surveying the upcoming Presidential beauty contestants and their talents in question is what they will do with New Orleans, an important oil/shipping port for the U.S.

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