Politico Publishes Vic Fazio Commemoration of Tom Foley

Politico, as part of its year-end “Why They Mattered” series remembering 17 men and women in the worlds of politics and ideas, published “Why They Mattered: Tom Foley,” an article by Akin Gump senior adviser and former Calif. congressmen Vic Fazio written in memory of the Democratic congressman and former speaker of the House who joined Akin Gump after leaving Congress.

Fazio notes the spirit of cooperation that the late congressman brought to the House and his representation of all of the people of his district, irrespective of political affiliation.  He also points to Foley’s diligence, eloquence and selflessness as qualities that made him stand out.

It is Foley’s selflessness that Fazio points to as one of two solutions, along with bipartisan redistricting, to the current situation of “partisan warfare,” as he calls it.  Fazio notes that, “[i]t is also time for our representatives to put the national interest ahead of their careers. That’s something Tom Foley modeled selflessly” and offers examples of positions that the late congressman took that were ultimately unhelpful to his political survival but necessary, in his mind, for the good of the nation. 

Fazio closes by noting that “Tom Foley’s courage was among the greatest of legacies. He understood that his gift to the people he represented was his ‘best judgment, not his slavish adherence to their opinion,’ to paraphrase Edmund Burke. He knew that the goodwill he had built up through those many years of service was political capital worth spending, even if it caused his defeat.”