In this era of poisonous partisanship and tribalism, Berman has found ways on foreign policy and national security to build bridges across party lines. He is tough-minded but also fits well within the mainstream of his own party on foreign policy, and people from across the spectrum and across the aisle know they can trust him. That is true on other issues as well. The respect Berman generates abroad is replicated on Capitol Hill.
Over many years, when I have talked to him about Congressional ethics, continuity and reform, and about reform of the foreign policy machinery, he has proved to be one of the great institutionalists, committed to making Congress a better place.
I don’t endorse candidates (not that it would be worth much if I did). But that does not stop me from pointing out that Berman is an all-star, one of the very best Members of Congress I have seen, watched and known in 43 years of seeing, watching and knowing many of them.
And his willingness to craft a better role for America in the world, to find common ground with Republicans, to protect the country’s national security while promoting American values abroad, all while paying close attention to the needs and interest of constituents, is something to be lauded and applauded, not trashed.
Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.