Times Dabbles in Passive Aggressiveness

Just loving this “profile” of Harold Ford in the NY Times:

After Mr. Ford, a five-term Tennessee congressman, arrived in New York, he took a job as a vice chairman at Merrill Lynch (now Bank of America). But he kept a toe in politics, becoming a commentator on Fox and then NBC, which features him several days a week on programs like MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

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.”

***

Mr. Ford declined to discuss what he is paid by the bank, but publicly available data suggests that he earns at least $1 million a year. Asked what role outsize pay packages played in fueling the financial crisis, Mr. Ford said he objected to capping executive compensation on Wall Street. “I am a capitalist,” he said. “I believe that people take risk, and there are rewards if they do well; they should lose if they don’t.”

I have no idea what kind of chance Harold Ford has, but he might do a little bit better if he can get some staff who can sniff out a media hit job ahead of time.

*** Update ***

Glenzilla. Go. Now. Incomparably horrific.

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57 replies
  1. 1
    NobodySpecial says:

    Actually, I agree with that last quote.

    And Harold Ford has done nothing well that I’ve ever seen, so I agree he should FAIL in Titanic size proportions.

  2. 2
    r€nato says:

    I’m pretty far from NY, but I’m also pretty sure that Ford ain’t gonna put one over on the good people of New York state, no matter how much the party establishment tries to sell that shit sandwich as a tasty pastrami on rye.

  3. 3

    Harold Ford appears to be a democratic ringer for Sarah Palin. While the Haitians suffer from a devastating earthquake, we’ve got a whole ‘nuther focus in America:

    http://bringbackjohnny.wordpress.com/

    Enjoy.

  4. 4
    Econwatcher says:

    Ah, yes, the rugged capitalists at Bank of America, ready to live or die by their own wits in the marketplace….

    He won’t end up a U.S. Senator from New York, but this man has a big future ahead of him as a shill for the plutocracy.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    This is making me picture an indignant Harold Ford dangling upside-down from a tree after stepping into a crude rope trap, hollering “Quit laughing and get me down from here!”

  6. 6
    Mike Kay says:

    C’mon John, it wasn’t a hit piece, the Times can’t help it if Harold was born with a silver foot in his mouth.

    Poor Harold, he can’t be bothered with taking the subway like the other 8 million new yawkers.

  7. 7
    Caravelle says:

    Always with that “people take risks” thing. Causing a financial meltdown and still earning 1 million a year after is isn’t “taking a risk”. Or it is, if you mean a risk to other people.

  8. 8
    gonzone says:

    Sounds like one of them limousine non-liberals, DLC style.

  9. 9
    Mike Kay says:

    @The Tim Channel:

    Harold Ford appears to be a democratic ringer for Sarah Palin.

    yes, he’s a big empty headed bimbo (Dana Perino). if harold wasn’t cute and if didn’t inherit his father’s congressional seat, he’d be taking the subway, like every other new yorker.

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    Greenwald points out the contrasting point Ford makes in criticizing rival Gillibrand for opposing the bank bailout.

    On the one hand, he is the brave capitalist who enjoys enjoying the fruits of (someone’s? his?) profits; on the other hand, WHY WON’T YOU SUPPORT HANDING TAXPAYERS’ MONEY TO BANKERS WHO LOST MONEY IN THEIR OWN FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS?

  11. 11
    Ron says:

    Well, I can only hope Harold Ford continues to put his foot in his mouth. When a GOP strategist (I don’t remember which) says how great he thinks it would be for the GOP to have Harold Ford try to run, that says it all. I have no idea why he’s doing this, but I am still marginally hopeful that some NY dems will talk him out of this really really bad idea of trying to primary Gillibrand.

  12. 12
    Keith G says:

    “I landed there in the helicopter, so I can say yes.”

    What a fucking maroon.

  13. 13
    Mike Kay says:

    Gawd, I wonder who’s dumber, Harold or Mika?

  14. 14
    valdivia says:

    I still have no idea what he is thinking. Unless this is Bloomberg testing his political machine in NY, or trying his hand at being a political godfather this makes zero sense to me.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    @Mike Kay: If an unthinkable object meets an irrational force…

  17. 17
    Mike Kay says:

    @Ron:

    I have no idea why he’s doing this

    Like Palin, Harold has no self awareness. This interview is Exhibit #A.

  18. 18
    r€nato says:

    @Keith G:

    it’s not quite as idiotic as saying that you are well-suited to handling foreign relations because you can see Russia from Alaskan territory… but it’s damned close.

  19. 19
    Dan Robinson says:

    Has he ever had a real job?

    He should get one.

  20. 20
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Keith G:

    “I landed there in the helicopter, so I can say yes.”

    But was the helicopter laughing? With Harold Ford above, I believe it couldn’t resist.

    And that b.s. about “taking risks” always irks me. The banksters took risks with other people’s money. They produced little of value except their overpaid bonuses. So, yeah, capitalism (foam fingers!)!

  21. 21
    r€nato says:

    bad link to Glenzilla, JC. There’s a double quote at the end of the link that needs to be taken out.

  22. 22
    Mike Kay says:

    @Dan Robinson:

    No, he inherited his daddy’s congressional seat, right outta grad school, at age 26.

  23. 23
    parksideq says:

    Even Bloomberg takes the subway on a near-daily basis. Harold Ford ain’t going nowhere in NY politics.

  24. 24
    Lee says:

    I’m getting a broken link to Glenzilla.

  25. 25

    “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.”

    But can he see it from his front yard?

    Ford/Palin 12!

  26. 26
    daveNYC says:

    Hell, Staten Island is the more conservative section of the city. Good job pissing off the people who would be most likely to vote for your ass.

  27. 27
    r€nato says:

    Hillary Clinton knew how to win New York despite her status as a carpetbagger.

    Ford… not so much. Thankfully.

  28. 28
    Perry Como says:

    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.”

    Ford is expected to release his memoirs later this year, The Unbearable Douchness of Sightseeing.

  29. 29
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Damn you! You beat me to it! And…I…am…not…laughing! OK, I actually am. I, too, am sick of this rugged individualism/capitalism roolz bullshit. We bailed their asses out!

    Where’s my rusty pitchfork? I think it’s time to get a revolution going, BJ-style (rusty garden implements and plenty of snark).

    @Perry Como: For the fucking win!

  30. 30
    geg6 says:

    I read both this article and Glennzilla this morning. Gawd, this guy is truly a raging idiot, definitely on the same scale as Caribou Barbie. I guess I already knew that, having witnessed him innumerable times on MSNBC, weighing in on the important issues of our times with content-free platitudes. But the lack of self-awareness in this NYT profile is just jaw dropping. Does he seriously believe that NYC is the only place in New York that has a vote for its senator? And that everyone in NYC is in love with Wall Street? Or that Dems, gays, and women in NY are so stupid that they will immediately fall for his massive flip flops on marriage equality and reproductive choice? He seriously is claiming that he’s always been pro-choice when there is documentary proof that he has claimed up until now that he’s always been pro-life?

    I’m no great fan of Gillibrand, but her record in the Senate so far shows that she understands her state and votes accordingly. And the people of New York know that, based on my recent conversations with my friends there in regard to this matter. I haven’t yet talked to one who thinks Ford is sincere on his flips or that doesn’t believe he is the stalking horse for Wall Street. I hope he gets absolutely clobbered and kills the DLC brand forever.

  31. 31
    Persia says:

    @Perry Como: Am I the only one reminded of G.W. Bush’s post-Katrina helicopter rides, that showed he cared?

  32. 32
    burnspbesq says:

    Greenwald should stick to talking about civil liberties issues; in that space, he has credibility. He lost me as soon as he wandered off into Taibbi-land and started talking about the “government-caused” financial crisis. I agree that lax regulation was a contributing factor in the financial meltdown, but “government-caused?” That’s either disingenuous or stupid, and neither is acceptable.

    That said, Ford is a joke. I think New Yorkers are smart enough to see through it. Gillibrand shows every sign of evolving into a good Senator, and she deserves a full term to show what she can do.

  33. 33
    eemom says:

    Fuck. This. Guy.

    Any questions?

  34. 34
    burnspbesq says:

    @geg6:

    I’m confuzzled.

    Gillibrand “understands her state and votes accordingly,” and yet you’re “not a great fan.

    What else do you require?

  35. 35
    New Yorker says:

    “If I am elected senator from New York, Harry Reid will not instruct me how to vote,”

    Right, Merrill Lynch will.

    Unfortunately, I can hardly blame the guy for his comments about Staten Island, given that the only time I’m ever there is while driving between Brooklyn and points south/west of the city (freakin tolls on the Verrazano and Goethals/Outerbridge cost an arm and a leg!).

    But otherwise he is a raging douchenozzle of the highest order.

  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    @burnspbesq:

    What else do you require?

    I see her as a bit of a flip flopper, too. Just not as egregious a one as Ford, who obviously understands nothing about NY. And the fact that she understands her state well enough to know that she could be a Blue Dog in the House but that it wouldn’t fly as a senator makes her a pretty good politician, but not one I admire all that much.

  37. 37
    flukebucket says:

    Isn’t Harold Ford the guy who called John McCain’s green screen speech one of his best ever?

    Or was that somebody else?

  38. 38

    […] In all the mockery of Harold Ford, it’s easy to lose sight of this question: what the hell is Bank of America paying Harold Ford a million dollars for? He can’t even be working full time, not with his regular “Morning Joe” gig. He doesn’t seem all that smart or capable. […]

  39. 39
    New Yorker says:

    Sorry, missed a few gems:

    During a trip from New York to Palm Beach on Thursday, flight attendants and passengers stopped in the aisle to cheer him on, he said. “I didn’t hear anyone say, you better not run against that Kirsten Gillibrand,” he said.

    Ah yes, the Proletariat Express, the NY to Palm Beach shuttle! That’s how you find out about the opinions of the Man on the Street!

    He has traveled to Buffalo and Syracuse, and this month will begin an upstate tour.

    Pop quiz time, Harold! Eastman Kodak is headquartered in what upstate city?

    No, Chappaqua doesn’t count as an upstate city. Try again.

    “New York has, in many ways, become home,” he said.

    This reminds me of some of the lamer profiles I’ve come across on Match.com: “I grew up in Beverly Hills, then I traveled the world, and I’ve been in New York for 4 weeks, and it feels like home! I want to meet a guy who likes Central Park, the Yankees, and Entourage!”

  40. 40
    geg6 says:

    @flukebucket:

    That would totally be correct. Ford lvoooooooed him some green screen Grandpa McGrumpypants.

  41. 41
    David in NY says:

    I have heard (no idea of actual basis, except that he’s obviously DOA as Senate candidate) that Harold’s real angle is to puff himself up and get offered the lieutenant-governor slot with idiot Cuomo. Thus to position himself for the future. I might vote against Cuomo anyway, but Harold would be a deal breaker for me.

  42. 42
    Why oh why says:

    This guy is a true political genius:

    Mr. Ford said he had been emboldened by the response he had received from the public in recent days. Everyone — from the cabdrivers who shuttle him around the city to the executives with whom he rubs elbows on Wall Street — has urged him to run, he said. During a trip from New York to Palm Beach on Thursday, flight attendants and passengers stopped in the aisle to cheer him on, he said. “I didn’t hear anyone say, you better not run against that Kirsten Gillibrand,” he said.

    But what about Upper East Side socialites?

  43. 43
    asiangrrlMN says:

    You know, laugh as we will at Ford (and, we should), his story is emblematic of the thinking in general of politicians in our country. He talks to all these upper-crust folk about running, and now, he’s convinced that it’s the will of the people. What a stunning disconnect, but very instructive.

  44. 44
    HRA says:

    @New Yorker:

    Win!

    As another NYer it would be a cold day in hell before I would vote for Harold Ford. I’ve watched him on MSNBC for too long of a time.

    I think I heard his father-in-law is someone big on Wall Street.

  45. 45
    Rathskeller says:

    @The Tim Channel: Tim, I don’t know who you are, but you’re putting this spammy link in a lot of unrelated topics: http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2.....ong-again/. I hope you don’t plan on doing this regularly.

    This looks like regular blogwhoring, and not spam, but it is still obnoxious. It’s not like a poll on late-night talk show hosts contributes anything to anything.

  46. 46
    bago says:

    @r€nato: You can see Big Diomede island from Little Diomede island in Alaska. They’re 2 miles apart. People have swam from one to the other. Big Diomede island is Russian.

  47. 47
    geg6 says:

    @HRA:

    His father-in-law is the former chairman of Morgan Stanley, Anson Beard.

    http://politics.nashvillepost......-saturday/

  48. 48
    PanAmerican says:

    Hey-oh, Chopper Harold.

    A Clintonite stirring up shit. Who would have thunk it?

    His run is a stimulus package for useless or aggrieved Democratic Party hacks. Joe Trippi’s one note: the white man can’t catch a break in America… it worked wonders for Dean and Edwards. Bradley Tusk was Blago’s Vice-Governor and skipped out of Illinois one step ahead of the Feds.

  49. 49

    @eemom: Yes. Baseball bat or really big monkey wrench?

  50. 50
    Citizen_X says:

    Everyone — from the cabdrivers who shuttle him around the city to the executives with whom he rubs elbows on Wall Street — has urged him to run, he said.

    People, he’s talked to cabdrivers! What more proof do you need that he’s got his finger on the pulse of the people?

    Thomas Friedman must be writing up his endorsement at this very moment.

  51. 51
    HRA says:

    @geg6:

    Thanks I knew I had heard it and did not remember where he had the in on Wall St.

  52. 52
    BigSwami says:

    Glenn Greenwald columns usually make me laugh, but today I think I peed myself a little. Someone better shift him over to decaf when he’s not looking. He’s building up to a volcanic rage way too early in the column, and that leaves him with very little energy left later on to provide frantic updates.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    merl says:

    but he believes in National Security, and a strong economy!!!1
    And he doesn’t shoot children!!11 what more do you people want?

  55. 55
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Peter J: I haven’t bothered following the Ford hype (mostly because I think he’s stupid to even consider running), but it seems like today, all I hear is people mocking him for his answer to that question.

    Me, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did him in. I mean…Christ, that was a terrible answer.

  56. 56
    eric k says:

    Did you catch the link Sully found of him answering the Giants or Jets question?

    I’m beginning to think Ford is a parody troll candidate

  57. 57
    oh really says:

    “I am a capitalist,” he said. “I believe that people take risk, and there are rewards if they do well; they should lose if they don’t.”

    Where, exactly, is the “risk” in this little scheme/scam?

    Ford is an American capitalist — the risk is outsourced; the rewards remain in house.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] In all the mockery of Harold Ford, it’s easy to lose sight of this question: what the hell is Bank of America paying Harold Ford a million dollars for? He can’t even be working full time, not with his regular “Morning Joe” gig. He doesn’t seem all that smart or capable. […]

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