Ford: Candidates need to better articulate plans

By Amber Cox

Between the two diverse candidates running for president and their chosen running mates, this election will be one for the books.

Rider’s annual Constitution Day Lecture took place Wednesday, Sept. 17. There was almost a full house in the BLC Theater as former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. commented on the upcoming election.

“In a lot of ways, it may be the most turbulent one of our lives,” Ford said.

People are truly engaged in this campaign, not only because of Obama’s race but also because McCain is the oldest man to ever run for president.

“McCain was politically dead a year ago and here he is running for president,” Ford said. “Obama has done more to excite and energize people than ever before.”

Ford believes that the candidates need to stop worrying about trivial matters and go into detail about what they plan on doing.

“I think the more Senator Obama focuses on race, the worse it is for him,” Ford said.

With the upcoming debate, Ford hopes the candidates will be able to stand their own ground. He thinks that they should be asked things that will have them questioning their abilities.

“I want them to have to answer tough questions,” Ford said. “I hope they’re honest and specific in their answers.”

Obama’s whole campaign is about change but it’s time for him to tell Americans how he plans to change things. McCain needs to go into detail about his plans for the war and the economy.

Ford stated that McCain may have stolen the change concept from Obama when he chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate. He also thinks that Obama chose the right running mate in Sen. Joe Biden because they don’t always agree on everything.

“McCain won’t go anywhere without Palin now, and I don’t blame him,” Ford said. “I think we need to see more of Obama and Biden together.”

Ford also believes that Obama should take Sen. Hillary Clinton with him everywhere he goes.

“Clinton can make the case why Obama and Biden are the change we need,” Ford said.

People are ready for a new president and new government after eight years with President George Bush’s administration.

“I don’t think we have ever had to ask, after eight years, if we can still be great and continue to be great,” Ford said.

Ford had much to say about the Democratic Party, being a Democrat himself. He thinks that Democrats just naturally have a hard time winning nationally. He also stated that Arkansas may be the most democratic state and the running mates need to “sneak” up on the people living there.

However, Ford does not agree with Obama on his tax plan. He thinks that the candidate needs to stop talking about a tax hike because he won’t win if he keeps going down the same path he is currently.

“I don’t think you should raise taxes with what we are going through right now,” Ford said.

But, Ford stated that Obama has accomplished great things with his campaign.

“His campaign has progressed greatly,” Ford said. “I happen to think Senator Obama will win this race.”

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