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Ron Fournier and Harold Ford Jr. Have Conversation on Politics Throughout Their Careers and in the Upcoming Election

The third day of the Mackinac Policy Conference kicked off bright and early at a “Coffee and Conversation” discussion between former U.S. Representative Harold Ford, Jr. and National Journal Senior Political Columnist Ron Fournier led by Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah.

Both Ford and Fournier told their story of humble beginnings and weighed in on the state of politics today.

“My growing-up experience was a phenomenal one, most the kids in my school had parents in politics as well. It was a different time – not only happier, but a more productive time in D.C. At the end of the day people just wanted to get things done,” said Ford of his politically influenced upbringing.

Fournier, a Detroit native, started his journalism career writing obituaries for a local newspaper until he switched to politics, leading him to follow the Clinton administration at the White House.

“If you want to get into journalism, cover a governor that’s going to become president and ride with them to the top,” said Fournier lightheartedly.

Speaking on today’s political landscape, both shared their thoughts on the upcoming bid for the presidency.

“I think Trump will be a formidable candidate in the fall, I think he is smarter than people give him credit for and will be a wildcard. Clinton needs a more compelling reason for why she should become the next President,” said Ford. “If I had to bet today I would probably bet on Donald Trump, but at the end of the day I think Clinton will find her footing.”

Fournier also a supporter of Clinton, said he believes she has the structural advantage, but admits her media blunders have cost her public trust points.