Harold Ford Decides Against NY-Sen Run

Harold Ford is pro-life. Or maybe not.

Harold Ford supports gay marriage. Or maybe not.

Harold Ford has visited all of New York City - if helicopters count. And he likes local football - after all, he eats at fancy hotels with team owners. Maybe he paid for those breakfasts with a Merrill Lynch bonus.

Thankfully, none of that matters now. Ford has decided NOT to challenge Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary for NY-Sen this year.

“I’ve examined this race in every possible way, and I keep returning to the same fundamental conclusion: If I run, the likely result would be a brutal and highly negative Democratic primary — a primary where the winner emerges weak-ened and the Republican strengthened,” Mr. Ford wrote in an opinion article to be published in Tuesday’s edition of The New York Times.

I refuse to do anything that would help Republicans win a Senate seat in New York, and give the Senate majority to the

The possibility of a run by the telegenic Mr. Ford, who has been working as a vice chairman of Merrill Lynch and a political commentator on NBC and MSNBC since moving to New York in 2006, had riveted New York’s political world, and touched off a furious behind-the-scenes effort to keep him out of the race over the last six weeks.

Thank God. Between Ford's awful roll-out and Gillibrand's solid leadership on repealing DADT, it's clear who is the superior politician and the superior policymaker here. At the end of the day, Ford has done little more than to boost Gillibrand's numbers against likely general election opponent, former Gov. George Pataki. And that's a good thing - we need Gillibrand in the Senate.

Tags: Kirsten Gillibrand, harold ford, NY-SEN (all tags)




I wouldn't be surprised if Ford never thought of running seriously to begin with-- that he figured the odds were against it and just wanted to make a mark. Now, many would say he failed, but I doubt it hurt his name recognition, and he certainly flipped the positions on record to be in accord with NY. So yea, he failed at this, but its sorta like, if he wants to run at some point in the future, better to have gone through the turn now?  I don't know, its hard to even convince myself of this alternative hypothesis-- his rollout was that bad; but the guy is smart, so its a bit of a surprise that he failed so big.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-03-01 07:44PM | 0 recs
RE: maybe

I'd be a lot more inclined to agree if it wasn't for the rich-guy breakfast, helicopter, etc. crap... this would make sense regarding the flip-flops, but not the rest of it.

He's def lest his mark, though - I'll never watch him on Morning Joe the same way again.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-01 07:51PM | 0 recs
the question is... why?

Not for nothing, but that excuse he's offering is crap: what Republican? George Pataki? Dan Senor? Jesus God, the one thing we know is that is that Kirsten Gillibrand's worst nightmare was a reasonably decent Democrat as an alternative... because a lawn chair with a D is going to win this one. Maybe Ford decided he couldn't beat Gillibrand (or, just as sensibly, realized he couldn't master the required contortions to either outflank her upstate or in the 5 boroughs)... maybe his money raising was never going to be strong enough... maybe Schumer managed to put the fear of G-d in him (or the fear of, well, Schumer in him)... but whatever got him to get out, don't try and tell me he was worried about a strong Republican. In this year, in this state... that's not the issue. And that was obvious months ago.

As a PS, the fact that Ford wilted doesn't mean, and shouldn't be taken to mean either a) proof that Gillibrand is a genius or b) that given an actual choice, Gillibrand wouldn't be in some serious trouble. The fact is she's being seriously, heavily protected in order to have a safe, no risk run. And it's a mystery me why thats a good thing, or something voting NY Democrats should be happy about.

by nycweboy1 2010-03-01 10:31PM | 0 recs
RE: the question is... why?

I met with Gillibrand during her House days and am very impressed with her. She's very bright, asks questions in Committee meetings that no one else does, and as I said in the post, is a heckuva leader on DADT. So I think it is a good thing that she's a lock for the nomination - but for democracy's sake, you're right, no party should ever be happy about a lack of choice.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-01 11:29PM | 0 recs
I think Mr Ford finally crossed

the Henry Hudson bridge and realized that there was more to New York than the Upper West side.

by Khun David 2010-03-01 11:26PM | 0 recs
RE: I think Mr Ford finally crossed

When you cross the Henry Hudson... you're in Riverdale. Not that different from the Upper West Side, and frankly more exclusive in many respects. Call us when he crosses, say, The Bear Mountain Bridge and discovers the Southern Tier, or makes it all the way to, like, Utica. My point would only be that plenty of people don't fully understand the complexities of New York State... including many potential lawmakers; on that, like Nathan, I'd have to say that's not my worst fear with Gillibrand. I think she gets it, when it comes to representing all of New York state... I'm not convinced, though, that she does it well. But to really get beyond the influence of New York City... you really need to get beyond, well, New York City. And maybe that was Ford's drawback... but I think someone with some understanding of Tennessee wouldn't be all that out of place understanding rural New York, upstate. I didn't want Ford... I did, and do, want a choice. I don't think it's a good thing not to have one.

by nycweboy1 2010-03-01 11:42PM | 0 recs


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