Further Evidence That Harold Ford Jr. Is Trying Out as a Staff Writer for The Onion
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Speaking from a conference room at New York University, where he is a teacher, Mr. Ford, 39, expressed enthusiasm about his new hometown, though he described a life quite different than most New Yorkers. On many days, he is driven to an NBC television studio in a chauffeured car. He and his wife, Emily, a 29-year-old fashion executive, live a few blocks from the Lexington Avenue subway line in the Flatiron district. But Mr. Ford said he takes the subway only occasionally in the winter, to avoid the cold when he cannot hail a cab.
Asked whether he had visited all five boroughs, he mentioned taking a helicopter ride across the city with fellow executives, at the invitation of Raymond W. Kelly, New York City's police commissioner. "The only place I have not spent considerable time is Staten Island," he said, adding that "I landed there in the helicopter, so I can say yes."
Asked about his baseball loyalties, he responded: "I am a Yankees fan," and added that he had yet to visit Citi Field, the home of the Mets.
He has breakfast most mornings at the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue, and he receives regular pedicures. (He described them as treatment for a foot condition.)
It really is like an Onion article. I could see SNL making an awesome parody of this.
On the question of him running, there are a few arguments I want to get at in response to yesterday's post.
1. That I advocate breaking legs, filing lawsuits, threats, and the like to keep people from running in elections. Far from it. I approach this from an ideological point of view, and from a progressive point of view, Harold Ford, Jr. in the U.S. Senate would be very detrimental to the progressive movement. So I would rather he did not run, and I am perfectly willing to make ideological arguments against why he should not run- namely that I prefer to elect the most progressive Democrat possible, especially in a state like New York. Harold Ford is not that Democrat.
And again, it depends on which is more important to you: having a competitive primary just for the sake of having a primary, or progressive public policy. I know the latter is more important to me, so there is nothing wrong with arguing, on an ideological basis, that Ford should not run, and working to keep him from doing so by using tactics that HousesofProgress described: pointing out how conservative he is for the state; demonstrating, as David did, that he's lying on his record; and so forth.
2. That it would be awesome to face Harold Ford, as advocated by Anthony de Jesus in the comments:
I just don't get the apparent fear of Ford. In my opinion, the attitude should be to "bring them on" and relish any opportunity to have a fight with people like Ford or Lieberman.
I must disagree and say that I think this is very unstrategic for two reasons. One, statewide primaries in New York cost lots of time and money. I would much rather spend my time and money on, say, immigration reform than being forced to spend it on convincing New York Democrats that Ford sucks. I am sure I am not alone in this feeling.
Two, while I haven't seen any polling yet, the conventional wisdom is that Ford doesn't stand a chance. I would caution against that. No one thought Lamont had a chance when he started. Quirky things happen in elections. Gillibrand could have a scandal. She could, God forbid, contract a serious disease and be forced to drop out like Giuliani did in the 2000 Senate race. Do you really want to be accidentally stuck with Blue Dog/Fox News contributor/DLC Chair/Merrill Lynch Vice Chairman Harold Ford Jr. as the Democratic nominee from the State of New York, all for the sake of "bring them on"? I sure don't.
The way to spend those resources better, and ensure Ford isn't the accidental nominee, is that he doesn't run.