Interview SummaryRetired United States Senator Wendell H. Ford discusses his thirty-four year career as an elected official during this interview with his former aide, Mike Ruehling. Ford talks about his close relationship with President Bill Clinton. He talks about his first election in 1965 as a state senator to fill the seat representing his home town of Owensboro in Davis County, Kentucky that was previously held by his father E.M. Ford. He later won election as lieutenant governor, governor, and United States senator which he served as until his retirement in 1999. During his Senate career, Ford also served in Senate leadership as Democratic whip. Ford never lost an election.
In the course of these interviews, Ford talks about notable political figures with whom he worked both at a state and national level. He discusses his style and philosophy of policy making, frequently expressing his support for bipartisan cooperation. Ford often refers to Henry Clay as a model for political negotiation. He also talks about political campaigning with respect to elections and representation of political interests as executive and legislator. He expresses hope for the future of Kentucky and national politics in spite of dysfunction current at the time of the interview, which he attributes to the increasing influence of money in political campaigning. He discusses aspects of his political legacy including the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center in Owensboro, and the oral history project at the University of Kentucky.
Interview RightsAll rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Ford, Wendell H. Interview by Michael J. Ruehling. 07 Mar. 2013. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Ford, W.H. (2013, March 07). Interview by M. J. Ruehling. Wendell H. Ford Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Ford, Wendell H., interview by Michael J. Ruehling. March 07, 2013, Wendell H. Ford Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt79057cv82n