Oldham Countian sees success as Bush aide

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By Mike DiGuiro

Anyone know who from Oldham County attended Nelson Mandela’s funeral on Air Force One this week? Who was backstage at the Tonight Show a couple of weeks ago, or who is leaving for Africa again tomorrow?

Let me assure you, it was not any of our local elected officials. It is not even any of the current residents.

Let me introduce Freddy Ford from the Oldham County High School Class of 2001, where he was class president for four years. Freddy went on to graduate from Vanderbilt University in 2005 where he came to the attention of the movers and shakers of the university, and by ability and happenstance, some pretty powerful people in Washington, DC.

Right out of Vanderbilt, Freddy went to DC and after a few months went to work in the Office of Presidential Correspondence writing proclamations and letters of commendation. He worked his way to the position of Deputy Director of Writers. His office was in the Executive Office Building – pretty close to the seat of power.

After eighteen months, he moved across the street to the White House where he worked as a Special Assistant for the National Economic Council and a bit closer to the seat of power.

In January of 2009, most of the Bush team was out of work. Not Freddy; he moved to Texas with George W Bush where he now works in Bush’s official presidential office. (Bush also has an office that runs his library and an office that runs the Bush Institute.)

He is currently the Communications Director and Personal Aide for George Bush. His job description is multifaceted; writing speeches, direction of news releases about schedules, coordinating travel schedules and lots of other complicated sounding stuff.

What he physically does, is simple. He goes where George Bush goes. To Africa, to India, to the Super Bowl, to The Masters or the Tonight Show. Most often, it is Bush, Freddy and a couple Secret Service agents. For a young guy without a wife and family, it seems the coolest job I can imagine. I’m sure there are parts of the job that suck, (Having to play golf with Bush, Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickleson and Bill Murray at Pebble Beach comes to mind), but having the opportunity to meet the people he meets, travel to the places he does, and to see history being made up close is something most of us cannot even imagine.

As you can tell by when he graduated from school, Freddy is about 30 years old. He has in a few short years, gathered a wealth of knowledge, contacts, and friendships that will give him a unique opportunity to make a difference in this country.

Freddy did not get to where he is because he comes from a famous, powerful family with deep Washington contacts; or really any contacts. His proud parents, Jeff and Maureen, are solid middle class people who worked hard for what they have. What Freddy has accomplished he has done himself.

And that brings us to what Freddy might still accomplish. There are few things Freddy could do that would be more exciting than what he does. But he has contacts and resources in Republican political circles that are possessed by few.

I personally wish that Freddy would come back to this area, and run for public office; specifically I believe he would make an outstanding candidate for US Congress for the 4th district.

Our current representative in the 4th district is mediocre. Give Freddy a couple more years to hone his skills and develop some campaign instincts and I believe he can give the 4th district good old boys a run for their money.

Freddy has probably not thought much about running for office. Maybe he has seen what is involved and wants no part of it. On the other hand, maybe he wants to continue serving his country in a less glamorous, but equally important way; by representing us or some other constituency. I’m sure he will excel at whatever he decides.

The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.