The quick scan of Ford/Gillibrand

Harold FordWe've put off writing about the potential Harold Ford challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand all week.

It's probably because whenever the story's come up, we've just thought, "Dude. Run. Don't run. Make-up your mind. All this non-campaigning campaigning is boring." (Maybe we're fatigued by Andrew Cuomo.)

So it goes. Here's the quick scan of the whole week of will-he-should-he-what-if...

+ Harold Ford is a former Congressman from Tennessee. He will/might/could run against Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary for US Senate this fall.

+ He represented a House district that primarily includes Memphis for 10 years. He lost a 2006 bid for Bill Frist's old Senate seat.

+ His father, Harold Ford Sr, was also a Congressman. The younger Ford succeeded his father in the same House seat.

+ He's 39 years old. Yep, that means he was elected to the House at 26. Only one person has been younger.

+ After leaving the House, Ford started working at Merrill Lynch in Manhattan as a "vice chairman and senior policy advisor." He's also been a pundit for Fox News and MSNBC.

+ He changed his voter registration to New York in November of 2009. [NYO]

+ Ford made a contribution to Gillibrand's campaign seven months ago. [Daily Politics]

+ In an interview with NYT (longer version), Ford has said that Kirsten Gillibrand hasn't pushed hard enough to create jobs in New York -- and is too deferential to Chuck Schumer. (This has become a common criticism of Gillibrand. A recent NY Post headline referred to her as a "Chuck Puppet.")

+ Schumer reportedly has met with Ford and urged him not to challenge Gillibrand. The Obama Administration has also indicated it would like to see Ford stay on the sidelines. David Paterson has referred to him as a "carpetbagger." A Ford spokesman says he won't be "bullied or intimidated" by "party bosses." [NYT] [NYT] [Daily Politics] [Politico]

Kirsten Gillibrand+ Gillibrand had stayed quiet on Ford until yesterday when she said he "may be right for Tennessee" but was out of step with New York. [NYT]

+ During his time running in Tennessee, Ford framed himself as a conservative Democrat. Liberal groups are already lining up against him. [AP/LAT] [NYT]

+ People involved in the abortion debate say they can't figure out where Ford stands. [NYDN]

+ Ford says he supports same-sex marriage. As recently as 2006, though, he voted in favor of a constitutional amendment banning it. [NY Post] [CQ/NYT]

+ A Marist poll out today reports that Gillibrand leads Ford 43-24 in a hypothetical matchup. But 33 percent of respondents said they're unsure about who they'd support.

+ NY Mag recently put together a scorecard of potential Gillibrand challengers, both Democratic and Republican. They figured to the biggest potential threat to her re-election was not Ford, but... George Pataki.


"Schumer reportedly has met with Ford and urged him not to challenge Gillibrand."

For that alone he might get my vote!

Much of the criticism about Gillibrand is that she's too conservative to represent NYS. Harold Ford is more conservative - I don't see how he could pull it off.

How about someone from New York? Like Gillibrand.


No, Gillebrand was elected in a historically Republican district, made Senator because she was a conservative Democrat

She is losing favor by kowtowing to NYC and it's liberal base in order to garner fringe benefits and re-election. This usually has worked in the past, but the political spectrum is much more scrutinized now. In a non corrupt election, she would lose. She went from Pro gun, free speech and capitilism to signing off on the health "reform" bill.

She is Schumer's Geisha, and it's sad that a woman I thought stood for what was good for this country (even when I disagreed with her social views) has become a lackey and is a prime example of how Politics corrupt and consume you with Lobbyists and party favors.

As for Ford...another carpetbagger that couldn't win in the South so like Clinton will come up here.

There has to be a 3rd for them Democrats

Ford is a sleazeball. But I expect a couple of appearances on Jersey Shore to solidify is "base".

I got called to do the Marist Poll last week - and the guy interviewing me must have been a temp laborer, he kept mispronouncing Marist and everyone's names - even Gillibrand's - and I had to ask him 3 times who he was talking about before realizing he was trying to pronounce Pataki's name. Cool to see how others answered tho, I've never been called for any of these polls before.

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