I still don’t think this will happen

Campaign Diaries has a pretty good run down of why Harold Ford isn’t really a Democrat and also why he might have a chance against Kirsten Gillibrand in a Democratic primary for the New York State Senate. The thinking is that he will get enough money from Bloombergians that he can be competitive.

Personally, I think it’s a bad time to be associated with Bloombergians — it’s a not a coincidence that both Corzine and Bloomberg himself had disastrous elections last November. So I don’t think Ford has much of a chance. In any case, his voting record is awesome to behold (from the article I linked to above):

  • 2001: Ford votes for the Patriot Act. Democrats support bill 129-75.
  • 2002: Ford votes to authorize Iraq War. Democrats oppose bill 126-81.
  • 2003: Ford is one of 63 Democrats to vote for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.
  • 2005: Ford votes for House Republicans’ tough anti-immigration bill, the Real ID ACT. Only 42 Democrats did so.
  • 2005: Ford was one of 43 Democrats to back legislation intervening in the Terri Schiavo case.
  • 2005: Ford votes for bankruptcy reform, along with 72 other Democrats.
  • 2006: Ford votes to permanently repeal the estate tax, along with only 42 other Democrats.
  • He repeatedly voted in favor of a constitutional amendment banning flag-burning (2005, 2003, 2001, 1999). In 2005, the amendment fell just one vote short of the 67 it needed to clear the Senate; needless to say, Democrats can’t afford to give up one of the New York seats.

I’m not an FDL-style Blue Dog hater, since a lot of the Dogs are from conservative districts and have to do what they have to do to get elected. Harold Ford is from a safe district in Memphis.

74 replies
  1. 1
    Glocksman says:

    Case in point: my own Blue Dog Congressman, Brad Ellsworth IN-08.

    There are two hot button social issues in this area that he absolutely must vote with the social cons if he wants to win.

    1. Abortion.
    This area is both heavily Catholic and heavily anti abortion.
    For him to support pro-choice would be literal political suicide.

    2. Guns.
    When Ellsworth beat 6 term incumbent John Hostettler* back in 2006, one of the things Ellsworth worked hard to get was an NRA ‘A’ rating.
    Us Hoosiers love our guns, especially down here in southwestern Indiana. If Brad voted for gun control measures, He’d be out.

    This district is historically known as the ‘Bloody 8th’, though both Hostettler and his predecessor Frank McCloskey served multiple terms before being defeated.

    In 2010, Ellsworth is facing a challenge from local heart surgeon (in fact, he did my valve replacement) Larry Buschon.

    Unlike their 2008 sacrificial lamb, Buschon might be a real threat to Ellsworth if things don’t improve economically or gets armtwisted to vote for something that is a hot button here.

    IOW, if the Stupak amendment is removed Ellsworth will either vote against reform or lose his seat come November.

    Whereas old Harold was in a safe seat and had no reason to vote the way he did.

    *John Hostettler as some of you may remember was the Congressman who introduced all of those ‘religious freedom’ bills during his terms and backed that nutjob judge in Alabama in his defiance of SCOTUS over the religious statuary.

    Though while he was out there in la la land on most social issues, he was absolutely right in opposing the Iraq war.

  2. 2
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Harold Ford isn’t really a Democratic and

    So is that like the antidote to Republicans calling it “the Democrat party”? Revenge by overcompensation?

  3. 3
    MikeJ says:

    Yeah, I don’t think a lot of people in the 9th were begging him to gut the bankruptcy laws or to hand more power to harass over to the cops.

    I don’t think he ever cared about about the 9th though. He always had his eye on the Senate, he just thought he’d be running in Tennessee. Which is why he fucked over his constituents to try to pick up the redneck vote. And he learned that when you cross East Parkway , they aren’t going to vote for a Ford. Except they when they say Ford it starts with an “N”.

    Oh, and fuck Willie Herenton. He’s going to knock out Steve Cohen who is probably my favorite politician on earth, and then he’s going to play the same blue dog pander thinking he’ll someday get to the bigs. It didn’t work for the most powerful political machine in Tennessee, and it won’t work for Herenton.

  4. 4
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Doesn’t Harold Ford hang out with Playboy hookers?

  5. 5
    Glocksman says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Nah..hookers charge for their services.
    Going by the ads, the women involved weren’t selling anything. :)

    In fact, if anyone could be called a hooker, it’s Harold.

  6. 6
    Glocksman says:

    Off topic, but interesting none the less, Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar is defending Obama from Cheney’s bullshit WRT the undiebomber.

    God knows I disagree with Lugar far more than I agree with him, but it’s nice to know that not all elected Republicans are batshit insane.

    That said, I wonder if the Club for Growth will try to primary him?

  7. 7
    Alex S. says:

    I guess Harold had his eyes on the presidency of the USA pre-2006.

  8. 8
    Matt says:

    I’m not an FDL-style Blue Dog hater, since a lot of the Dogs are from conservative districts and have to do what they have to do to get elected.

    I think that’s exactly why they hate them.

  9. 9
    bob h says:

    I don’t understand the need to jettison Gillebrand. If she had been playing a Lieberman with HCR or something, I could see it, but it seems she has been loyal to the Obama agenda.

  10. 10
    Stroszek says:

    Hey, I know we’re all pragmatists here, but I will proudly admit (again and again) voting third party in Ford vs. Corker. Ford is Lieberman on steroids. He was the only Dem nominee in 2006 to embrace Bush instead of running away from him (a strategy that hurt him much more than the overhyped “Call Me, Harold” ads). If he’d been elected, the only function he would have served would be to ensure David Gregory had a compliant right-winger to represent the Senate Democrats on Sunday mornings.

    This was first confirmed when his protege tried to run an anti-semitic primary campaign against Steve Cohen (one of the most wonderful human beings to ever serve in Congress).

    This was again confirmed when he pursued his illustrious media career as Joe Scarborough’s agreeable “black friend.”

    This news about NY-Sen is yet another stop on the validation train.

    Anyway, I think the fact that Bloomberg was barely reelected signals that NY’s tolerance for a Wall Street candidate is pretty damn low. Gillibrand is going to wipe the floor with him, and the good news is that it’ll probably be good practice for the general election.

  11. 11
    Guster says:

    @Matt: This.

  12. 12
    SGEW says:

    I’m surprised that you overlooked Ford’s vote for the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

  13. 13
    willf says:

    Honestly, consider Mike Ross, Blue Cross Dog Democrat from Arkansas, who was absolutely against any form of Public Option. Even though the conservative bible-belt state he represents approved of the PO by 55% to 38% – with 7% saying they were not sure.

    Oops, that poll is old. Sorry, here’s the results from a newer one:

    (56% would like a public option, with 37% opposed and 7% saying they are not sure.)

    Now, why would Senator Ross oppose a bill that a majority of his constituents repeatedly said they wanted? Well, a good place to start looking for an answer might be OpenSecrets.org, where we find that donors and PACs in the healthcare and insurance industries gave Ross well over $250,000 in donations, just for the 2008 election.

    It’s not always about securing the votes in a conservative state. Many conservative democrats employ populist and or conservative rhetoric in order to prop up a voting record that primarily benefits only their largest campaign donors.

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    Why is this guy a Democrat? And Ford’s vote for intervening in the Schiavo case makes me think additional bad thoughts about Bloomberg. I’d be pleased to vote against both of them, if I could.

  15. 15
    mai naem says:

    To me its clear as day that Ford thinks he should be where Obama is now and I would say he spent 2008 and at least half of 2009 feeling that resentment. He finally figured out he better tow the line about the fall of 2009. He ain’t all that bright. I believe he failed the bar exam. He doesn’t come off all that well read on teevee. His arguments are trite not necessarily well thought out. Kos cleaned up when he was on with him on either Bill Maher or MTP and Kos ain’t all that great on teevee.

  16. 16
    pablo says:

    Just to illustrate the point.

  17. 17
    Robin G. says:

    Ford would run as a member of the Stonecutters if he thought it would get him elected. The party is incidental. He was a Democrat in TN because as an African-American in the South (the Appalachian South, no less), the Dems are the only party that would have him.

    I’m also unsure of why Gillibrand is such a problem.

  18. 18
    StonyPillow says:

    Ford is trying to make Kirsten Gillibrand look less conservative. If she wins the Democratic primary, that’s a victory for the DLC. Then she can go back to being a member of Connecticut For Lieberman with Arlen Spectre and the rest of the Blue Dogs.

  19. 19
    Jon says:

    Most of you are not getting it with Gillibrand. The big fear that the liberals & progressives have with her is that she is Joe Lieberman in a dress, she will hold a seat from a deeply blue state, yet vote as if she was from a purple or red state.

    And like Joe, she’ll be a tick on the skin of NY, she’ll burrow in and it’ll take fire or ice to remove from the senate. NY can and should elect someone to the senate that reflects the states political leanings, not someone who helps get David Paterson reelected (who by the way I’m sorely disappointed in for this choice).

  20. 20
    Cervantes says:

    Just a side note: Ford’s ex-district in Memphis became a little less safe-Democratic in the 2000 re-districting.

  21. 21
    Marc says:

    I’m amazed that Ford thinks there’s room in NY to primary Gillibrand from the right. If anything, I think this would unify the party behind her.

    If it helps Dems hold the seat and makes Harold Ford look like an ass on a national stage, I’m all for it.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MikeJ #3:

    Why do you think Willie Herenton is going to knock out Steve Cohen (whom I also greatly admire BTW)? Is that what the polls are showing? I thought Cohen was pretty popular, especially being white in a majority-black district, and by now he has some advantages of incumbency. Similarly, I thought Herenton had pissed off enough Memphians through all the untimely resignation threats, resignations, and game-playing — not to mention a pretty shit record as mayor — that they would be very reluctant to support him for Congress. What am I missing?

  23. 23

    To imagine Ford might represent New York as a Democrat is such a grotesque proposition it took me a while ^and a lot of booze^ to be convinced that I even needed to address the story.

    Fxd.

    First, Gillibrand has had trouble imposing herself and her upstate roots still raise questions about how well she’ll play in New York City.

    But no one will blink at a guy from another state. And not just any other state, Tennessee. Yeah, Gillibrand’s “upstate roots” will be a much bigger problem.

    Most importantly, despite his conservative record Ford might benefit from solid support in the black community, a significant force in New York primaries: The New York Times reports that Ford has already met with the Reverend Al Sharpton, who is “did not seek to discourage Mr. Ford from running, and recommended that he begin to reach out to the state’s black leaders and clergy.”

    Wow. Has been and general bad joke Al Sharpton didn’t “seek to discourage,” him (Spinspeak for “Didn’t laugh him out of the office”) and that amounts to an endorsement from the fabled and mysterious black community.

    So might the primary turn into a battle of strange coalitions – New York’s financial class, the DLC-establishment and African-American leaders on the one hand; the left’s activist groups, Latino groups and the Democratic establishment on the other?

    No. Because Ford doesn’t have a chance in hell.

    Seriously DougJ, you need to stick a NSFW warning on links to rampant wanking.

  24. 24
    Marc says:

    Cervantes: it’s 60% black, and the most liberal district in Tennessee (for whatever that’s worth). Steve Cohen was re-elected with almost 90% of the vote (and 80% in the primary against the race-baiting, anti-Semitic Ford protege Nikki Tinker). It’s safe Democratic.

    Also, Wikipedia tells me it’s Davy Crockett’s old seat. Who knew?

  25. 25
    Steaming Pile says:

    @Stroszek: THIS. If you think people in New York City have waning tolerance for Wall Street types, you wait until we Upstaters get through with Harold Ford.

  26. 26
    New Yorker says:

    Wait a minute, am I missing something here? Why the fuck is some blue dog from Memphis, TN (said in Andy Kaufman voice) trying to run for Senate in my state?

    And why the fuck does New York continue to be the preferred running spot for every celebrity politician who wants power? Go away, go run in Wyoming where nobody actually lives. New York has 19 million people who can serve in the Senate (well, I wouldn’t vote for my wingnut uncle if he ran, but still….)

  27. 27
    DougJ says:

    I also would not vote for Ford in a general. I would vote 3rd party.

  28. 28
    John says:

    He was a Democrat in TN because as an African-American in the South (the Appalachian South, no less), the Dems are the only party that would have him.

    No, he was a Democrat because his father runs the Democratic political machine in Memphis, and because you’re not going to get anywhere in Memphis politics as a Republican.

    Anyway, Ford is awful. The idea of a challenge to Gillibrand from the right is ridiculous. I hope this doesn’t go any further.

  29. 29
    New Yorker says:

    Oh good…

    Furthermore, The New York Times article that has created much of this week’s buzz revealed that Ford’s backers to be a who’s who of New York’s financial elites and “Wall Street executives who are now encouraging him to run.”

    Even more reason to vote against the guy in the primary.

    Am I missing something here? What has Gillibrand done as a senator that makes her worthy of a primary challenge? She was no Nelson or Lieberman on heathcare. Is this some sort of snotty dismissal of a younger woman from upstate by NYC power brokers?

  30. 30
    Dan Robinson says:

    I don’t get this. Why would people from New York want some carpetbagger from Memphis as their senator? Hilary Clinton was a star, but Harold Ford will be known as Harold Who? in New York.

    This Harold Ford in New York is a joke, right?

  31. 31
    kay says:

    I honestly think it’s just about his career outside government. The only forum he has is on television, and this increases his chances of getting invited.
    He’s really a bore as a guest, by the way. He’s absolutely perfected that scam where he doesn’t say much, and that reserve passes for thoughtful wisdom. The problem is when he does muster the energy to speak, and leans forward, to intone something profound, carefully, he has nothing original or interesting to say. I’m always left thinking, “is that it? That boilerplate conventional wisdom is what we were all waiting for?”
    It’s inevitably disappointing to the listener, but media fall for it every time.

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @kay #30: Good analysis. I met him several years ago in his district office. He was affable, but that was about it. I’ve never really understood why Morning Joe has him on so frequently, he’s so vapid and . . . oh wait . . . asked and answered.

  33. 33
    Laertes says:

    @Glocksman:

    That said, I wonder if the Club for Growth will try to primary [Lugar]?

    They can try, but Dick Lugar would beat Jesus Christ by 25 points in an Indiana GOP primary.

  34. 34
    SIA says:

    Harold should keep his day job as tee-vee concern troll.

  35. 35
    kay says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I feel as if I recognize the “type” from various workplaces.

    If tv were like real life, he’d finally weigh in, his co-workers would just look at each other for a moment, a little awkwardly, and resume the discussion without him.

    It’s a reliable workplace scam, but only for a about six months, and it’s the basis of his whole career. Only on cable tv does someone get away with this as long as he has.

  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @kay: This. Thank you.

    I know exactly the type — I’ve worked with them. Oh hell, I’ve probably been them in my time.

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Stroszek:

    Hey, I know we’re all pragmatists here, but I will proudly admit (again and again) voting third party in Ford vs. Corker.

    I dunno, I don’t see anything wrong for voting third party when the candidate isn’t going to vote with the party anyway. If you have a Democrat who always votes with the Republicans, you might as well vote for the Republican (or third party).

  38. 38

    @Matt: You are wrong. It’s their need to repeat every right-wing frame that is maddening. Their willingness to back stab the party. Besides, most Blue Dogs are corporate whores. They don’t even vote Democratic on economic issues. And then you have guys like Jim Cooper who represent Democratic leaning districts and is one of the worst Blue Dogs.

  39. 39

    @bob h: That’s the whole point. Once Gillibrand start representing NY State, she changed her voting pattern. She’s way better than Ford could ever dream of being. Why Ford is hitching his star to Bloomberg is a mystery. That’s a recipe for certain defeat.

  40. 40

    Is this some sort of snotty dismissal of a younger woman from upstate by NYC power brokers?

    Bingo!! Just look at who was quoted(or didn’t want to be quoted) in any of the NYT articles.

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jon:

    Whatever your issues are with Gillibrand (and FWIW, I think you overstated the case against her), they are no fucking justification at all for backing Harold Ford.

  42. 42
    eemom says:

    @New Yorker:

    this, this and THIS. You took the words right offa my keyboard. I’m an expat New Yawkah, and I demand to know who let this fucker into my homeland.

  43. 43
    Church Lady says:

    @RobinG: The 9th is located in the most southwestern corner of the state, and we’re nowhere near the mountains – it’s a six hour car ride from Memphis to get anywhere near the term “Appalachian”.

  44. 44
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jon:

    Most of you are not getting it with Gillibrand. The big fear that the liberals & progressives have with her is that she is Joe Lieberman in a dress, she will hold a seat from a deeply blue state, yet vote as if she was from a purple or red state.

    Didn’t people say all of that about Hillary Clinton, too?

  45. 45
    Sanka says:

    I think it’s a bad time to be associated with Bloombergians—it’s a not a coincidence that both Corzine and Bloomberg himself had disastrous elections last November.

    Yeah. Despite the fact that Bloomberg actually won his election.

    Being a multi-millionaire Goldmanite is really what caused the liberal Corzine to lose the governorship in a deep blue state. Yeah. That’s what it was.

  46. 46
    Mike Kay says:

    Ford is

    ANTI-CHOICE!

    He opposes Roe v Wade.

    You can’t get elected in New York if you’re Anti-Choice.

    Hell, even Giulliani was full bore pro choice.

  47. 47
    joe from Lowell says:

    Most of you are not getting it with Gillibrand. The big fear that the liberals & progressives have with her is that she is Joe Lieberman in a dress, she will hold a seat from a deeply blue state, yet vote as if she was from a purple or red state.

    I understood that fear back when she ran for Hillary’s seat, but has she done anything since taking office that would support that theory?

    I’ll admit to not having followed her very closely, but hasn’t she been a good Democrat? I think she’s proved the opposite argument: that she moved to the right of her natural position because of the conservative, upstate district she represented, and has moved back to the left now that she’s in the Senate.

    No?

  48. 48
    Mike Kay says:

    Ford’s confederate flag will not fly in New York

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_NUZ_....._ford2.jpg

  49. 49
    morzer says:

    On Sept. 30, 2004, Harold Ford Jr. reversed his prior position statements and voted for the anti-gay “Federal Marriage Amendment” (H.J. Resolution 56), which would amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit states from allowing gay and lesbian couples to enjoy the legal rights of marriage.

    Just to add another to your admirable list of Harold Ford’s nefarious deeds.

  50. 50
    John says:

    If you have a Democrat who always votes with the Republicans, you might as well vote for the Republican (or third party).

    Institutional control matters. Ford would have voted with us much more often than Corker does. He would have been annoyingly self-regarding about it, and probably done lots of Lieberman bullshit, but he’d still have been better than Corker.

  51. 51
    Mike Kay says:

    @John:

    I don’t know.

    Like Lieberwitz, Harold would have loved to go on every tee vee show to lend aid and comfort to the enemy.

  52. 52
    tammanycall says:

    IMO, Gillibrand hasn’t been adequately tested on her shaky issues since assuming HRC senate seat. I for one don’t trust her. Her 100% approval rating from the NRA, her terrible record on immigration issues – are we supposed to forget her record as a Congresswoman now that she’s a Senator? And if she’s just willing to do a 180 on both of these issues now, that worries me, too. Does she believe in anything at all?

    That doesn’t mean I support Harold Ford. He’s a corporate Gillibrand. But a blue state like New York should get at least one progressive Senator.

  53. 53
    BillCinSD says:

    Isn’t the whole point of the Wall Street power brokers funding a challenger to Gillibrand to try to get a Senator elected who will back the issues Wall Street cares about. Not issues the Democratic party may care about, or upstate vs. NYC or liberal vs. progressive.

  54. 54
    Brian J says:

    @bob h:

    I think you’re right when you say that she’s been supporting the agenda about as much as can be expected. Granted, some of that may have been to shore up support, but still, I haven’t heard anyone complaining about her.

    The thing is, I sense a lot of people sense an opening, because she hasn’t been elected as a senator just yet. This can come from the right, as it might with Harold Ford, or from the left, as it might with Carolyn McCarthy, a congresswoman from Long Island. I’m guessing that a lot of this is motivated mostly by personal objectives, as opposed to something relating to the party. After all, she seems to have a good mix of the upstate and downstate, which would make her easily electable.

  55. 55
    Jared says:

    Given how conservative Ford came off in that ’06 Senate race before losing because he was not considered conservative enough, I’d say he’d have to oppose universal suffrage if he were to somehow move back to TN and declare for another statewide race.

    In case he runs in Tennessee again, here is a campaign slogan:

    Vote Ford: He’s not your daddy’s Dixiecrat.

  56. 56
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Jon:

    if you say so. I happen to like her…and I will likely contribute to her campaign…since I am a social progressive but also an enthusiastic gun owner.

  57. 57
    celticdragonchick says:

    @tammanycall:

    I for one don’t trust her. Her 100% approval rating from the NRA,

    Good for her. About time that the Dems ditched the gun control issue.

  58. 58
    Glocksman says:

    @Laertes:

    Exactly.
    Given the Club for hair Growth’s track record, I look for them to try and primary Lugar.

    For the benefit of those who don’t follow Indiana politics, Lugar would literally have to be caught in bed with a live boy and a dead girl live on Fox News to be defeated.

    Even then he’d love by only 3%. :)

  59. 59
    mcc says:

    One thing to note, common lore describes Gillibrand as a fairly conservative Democrat but one thing she has been very, very progressive on, and gotten way out in front on establishing hard credentials on from the moment she entered the Senate, is LGBT rights.

    Ford on the other hand has a reputation as one of the most actively anti-LGBT Democrats still on the national scene.

    As I understand, NY gays are really angry, fired up, and looking for blood in the aftermath of the closely-failed marriage vote this last month. A hypothesis: This is not a good time to give the New York LGBT community a good reason to make you their enemy.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @tammanycall:

    Her 100% approval rating from the NRA, her terrible record on immigration issues – are we supposed to forget her record as a Congresswoman now that she’s a Senator?

    The NRA thing doesn’t necessarily bother me — a lot of people who represent rural districts or states have a 100 percent rating from the NRA, including Howard Dean when he was governor of Vermont. Guns in rural areas are regarded very differently than guns in urban areas (which is why I think gun laws should be based on population density rather than trying to get a one-size-fits-all solution for both urban and rural areas, but anyway …)

    The immigration issues would be much more worrisome, IMO.

  61. 61
    Ailuridae says:

    Gillibrand voted to the left of her district during her time in the House despite it being a prime example of a swing district. She likely never wins the seat if Sweeney wasn’t such a dirt bag on a personal level.

    Ford, in contrast, had one of the most reliable D seats in the entire nation and was constantly voting not just right of his district but one the very far right of the whole caucus.

    Nate Silver recently started talking about “valuable” Democrats – ones that vote in line with Democratic priorities to the possible detriment of re-election chances. Gillibrand, was a valuable Democrat for the part and its agenda. Ford, like the execrable Jim Cooper or Jane Harman are the exact opposite.

    And it should be mentioned that, since joining the Senate Gillibrand has something like the 15th or 17th most progressive voting record. And, unlike Chuck Shumer she doesn’t have pesky Wall Street ties (which, of course, is why the Wall Street types are backing Ford.)

  62. 62
    Ailuridae says:

    Also, it looks like Harry Reid’s getting pissed off at Nelson and trying to embarrass him might lead to a huge, unintentional progressive victory.

    http://www.politico.com/livepu.....ml?showall

  63. 63
    Nick says:

    @Stroszek: Could a more progressive Democrat have gotten as close as he did in Tennessee? This is Tennessee?

    Don’t you think maybe the extra seat on the Finance Committee that would have been awarded with a larger majority.

  64. 64
    FlipYrWhig says:

    My memory is failing me. Wasn’t there a vociferous anti-Gillibrand, pro-Caroline Kennedy contingent among Kossacks?

  65. 65
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    I’m not a Blue Dog hater, since a lot of the Dogs are from conservative districts and have to do what they have to do to get elected.

    That goes for most Republicans too. Does it let them off the hook?

    Harold Ford sucks.

  66. 66
    NR says:

    @Mike Kay: Also, don’t forget the role that “Democrats” like Ford play in weakening and watering down progressive legislation before it even comes up for a vote.

  67. 67
    morzer says:

    FlipYrWhig – it’s true that the Kossacks would have preferred Caroline Kennedy, but Gillibrand has been pretty active at DailyKos, and my impression is that she has won some friends by being pro-active and voting the right way on the issues. At this point, the Caroline Kennedy imbroglio isn’t really on the radar any more.

  68. 68
    Glocksman says:

    @Nick:

    It’s Tennessee, but it’s also a heavily black district from what I understand.

    In other words, while it may very well be socially conservative on some issues, I hardly doubt the residents supported the so-called ‘bankruptcy reform’ or the other economic and civil rights issues Ford voted with the Republicans on.

  69. 69
    Glocksman says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Indeed.
    I understand and can see the logic used by people on both sides of the abortion debate, even though I am pro choice.

    That said, the gun ban stalwarts among the Democrats are as fucking irrational as any ‘war on terror’ Republican in that their positions are devoid of both logic and an understanding of US history and culture and are predicated on the culture of fear.

  70. 70
    Gardenvarietygator says:

    An acquaintance of mine from the internet who lives in Tennessee has stated that Ford is crooked, that his family has been in politics for several generations, and that some of him relatives been accused or convicted of crimes related to money and politics. I don’t recall the exact status as this was a couple of years ago. I think it was his aunt mainly. My friend is a very conservative mostly Republican and I couldn’t tell if her judgment was correct. she posted some articles but I didn’t know enough background for that area and it seemed inconclusive to me. I do think that he was probably perceived as a crook by some of Tennessee. In fact most of the people from that state that I’ve talked too see to think all of Memphis is corrupt.
    On the other side of it Ford was definitely attacked by some rather racist ads in his last election. They pictured him as the man about town who dated multiple white women. He wasn’t married at that time. The woman in the add sounded like a real fluff head. Because of that ad and what it implies about Tennessee voters (but doesn’t prove), I’m not sure I believe the other accusation.
    He doesn’t sound like a winner on his votes as everyone has mentioned above. I’d like to know if the crooked accusation is true because that’s rather important.

  71. 71
    mandarama says:

    @Stroszek:

    Hey, I know we’re all pragmatists here, but I will proudly admit (again and again) voting third party in Ford vs. Corker.

    I wish I could say the same…sigh. I was much more naive and stood in line to vote for Ford over Corker. I’m chagrined, though I still loathe Corker and have to call up his office to bitch constantly.

  72. 72
    CalD says:

    I’m not going to defend Harold Ford but I don’t think he deserves to be demonized. Ford had a lifetime rating of 21% from the American Conservative Union and an average ADA Liberal Quotient of 76%. That’s pretty dead on baseline for a red state Democrat. I agree that Campaign Diaries’ list of cherry-picked votes above were all bad ones in my opinion. But I don’t believe that list paints a very fair picture of Ford’s voting record.

    I could also point out that Denny Kucinich has voted for the flag-burning thing every time it’s come up except the last time. Kucinich was also one of the most reliable pro-life votes in the House right up until about the time he decided to run for president. I have no idea whether his previous flag-burning votes reflected some personal conviction or were leadership-ordered safe votes to impress the rubes back home. The flag burning thing has always been a favorite for that, since there’s never been a chance in hell of it actually passing the senate. (Appearances can be deceiving sometimes.)

  73. 73
    celticdragonchick says:

    One thing to note, common lore describes Gillibrand as a fairly conservative Democrat but one thing she has been very, very progressive on, and gotten way out in front on establishing hard credentials on from the moment she entered the Senate, is LGBT rights.

    Indeed. Another reason I like her.

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    celticdragonchick says:

    @Glocksman:

    That. :)

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