Brief Thoughts on the Ford Affair.

(cross-posted from U.S. of J.)

As far as I’m concerned, the problem with Harold Ford running for Senate in New York has almost nothing to do with Ford’s general sliminess and everything to do with the fact that it’s a waste of a seat.  In 2007, Chuck Schumer and then-senator Hillary Clinton were more liberal than 83 percent of their colleagues.  Kristin Gillebrand isn’t quite there yet, but it is clearly the case that she’s moving to the left, and as Nicholas Beaudrot recently pointed out, she is well on her way to becoming a standard liberal Democrat.

I don’t think you can say the same for Harold Ford.  Sure, he’s doing as much as he can to walk back from his previous, socially conservative views.  But judging from his willingness to shill for the worst kind of corporate interests, it’s incredibly likely that a Senator Harold Ford — in place of virtually any other New York Democrat — would be a net loss for the Democratic Party.  What’s more, with the White House and the Democratic Party at large throwing its support behind Gillebrand, the chances of Ford actually winning the seat are incredibly low. A move to the left renders Ford essentially useless for a second state-wide run in Tennessee, where his conservative credentials are paramount.  It’s a lose-lose situation for the party.


Jamelle Bouie is a writer for Slate. He has also written for The Daily Beast, The American Prospect and The Nation. His work centers on politics, race, and the intersection of the two.

You can find him on Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram as jbouie.
  • Val

    I really don’t get why he hasn’t joined the GOP. He could be the next Michael Steele.

  • Thankfully, he may have all but killed himself with that NY Times article. He was weak on our sports, took a helicopter to Staten Island of all places and made a firm commitment to not tote Democratic water (which is what NY dems do). He will only make it more expensive for Gillibrand because he can’t beat her all the while the Rs look like they are going to stick up a tin can as Rudy, King and Molinari have all bowed out.

    How about this for a campaign ad picture that just screams NYC leadership?