NY-Sen-B: Ford Won’t Run; Wants to Spend More Time With His Helicopter

Turns out money can’t buy you love:

Under intense pressure from Democratic Party officials, Harold E. Ford Jr., the former Tennessee congressman, has decided not to challenge Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand in the primary this fall, according to two people told of his plans.

He has told friends that, while he is convinced he could prevail against Ms. Gillibrand, he feared the winner of the primary would have little money and remain highly vulnerable to a well-financed Republican challenger at a time when the Democratic party controls the Senate by a slim majority.

Ford was coming under increasing pressure from the Democratic establishment not to run, and looks to have finally seen the futility of a run. While he initially seemed emboldened by the pressure, polls never showed him making a big dent against Gillibrand. After his terrible rollout (only Dan Coats can really compete for that title in this cycle) — coming off as an entitled and rather out-of-touch elite in interview after interview — he seems to have eventually realized it was better to save his powder and hope for a do-over some day.

RaceTracker Wiki: NY-Sen-B

36 thoughts on “NY-Sen-B: Ford Won’t Run; Wants to Spend More Time With His Helicopter”

  1. But then I read the block quote, and I thought it should of been expanded to: NY-Sen-B: Ford Won’t Run, Is Still Deluded

  2. He didn’t explicitly say no to that, only that he wouldn’t run as a Democrat. Although I suppose his “I won’t hurt the Democrats” language indicates no.

  3. He should move back to Tennessee if he wants to be a politician again. Ford will never be able to accomplish anything in New York besides making himself unelectable in the future.

  4. was hoping for Gillibrand to get challenged. Now I don’t think Ford was the right guy and I would probably not have supported him. I really dislike Gillibrands connections with the tobacco lobby (I have lost many close family members to cancer) and while she has an anti tobacco voting record in my view she doesn’t provide a good enough reason for why she worked for the tobacco lobby. I like her personally but I just don’t know when it comes to her past work. I still think Paterson should have appointed someone else.

  5. Just to be a bit of a contrarian, I am not sure this is such good news for Gillibrand. Being an appointee of David Patterson she could have gained some legitimacy by winning a Dem primary. If GOP can get a serious canidate (like Pataki) to run she could be more vulnarable in the general.

  6. I was fine with the guy as long as he was posturing for statewide office in TN.  It’s a very conservative Southern state, he’s black, he had to posture as a DLCer to have any chance there.

    But this little stunt of even considering challenging an incumbent Democrat in New York just shows monumental stupidity by him.  Anyone in his shoes with good judgment would have laughed it off immediately upon those few rich people suggesting it.  He’s now permanently damaged himself, to no good end, self-serving or otherwise.

  7. because before this I think Ford could probably have been elected Governor of TN at some point in the future.  Not this year probably but a future year.  

  8. Harold has shown some maturity taking this position. How about we thank him for that by making him an Ambassador?

    I hear Antarctica’s lovely these days…

  9.   Like you, when I was first presented with Harold Ford. I was like um, no. Especially after that horrid NY Times interview. I have written here many times before that Gillibrand should get a primary. But it should be someone who has a history of being a progressive and someone actually from NY. I also agree with you on the tobacco thing. I didn’t like that Ford worked for Merriyl Lynch, but I thought it was a little hypocritical of Gillibrand to attack him for that. Yeah, Kirsten like you devoted your whole life to public service to.

  10. wasn’t she a lawyer in a firm with a tobacco client?  Not working for tobacco itself.  While she was apparently good at it, I can’t fault her for doing the job her firm told her to do.

  11. firm clearly states that the lawyers can turn down any case if they have any moral or ethical objections to the said case.

  12. would say that his career in elective politics is over. He won’t be able to get elected to anything in NY or TN. New York thinks he’s a joke and Tennessee would tell him to go back to New York. All they would have to do is play that hardball clip of him saying that he’s a New Yorker over and over again. He is really that stupid.  

  13. notice that I say his elective career in NY and TN is over. We still don’t have a solid candidate in North Dakota yet. Does anyone know if Ford has an apartment in Fargo?  

  14. I’m a lawyer in D.C., and while I’ve never worked in a firm I know a lot of people, including my wife, who do or have worked as attorneys in firms.  A lot of written policy is just bullshit.  Money talks, and money rules.

    A large law firm often gives its attorneys 4 weeks of paid vacation per year.  Do you know what you call a lawyer who actually uses it?  FIRED.

    If you’re a woman, forget about ever suing for sexual harassment, you’ll just be blackballed.

    So regarding a policy allowing the right to refuse a particular case, in real life turning a case down can be a career-ender.

  15. trying to relate to the good folks of North Dakota, communing with them at the Minot Lutefisk Festival.

  16. You’re probably right, but I still don’t like it. I will confess I take it a little personally because all of my grandparents so far have died from tobacco related cancers. Although I suppose she was just doing her job.  

  17. Ford ran a respectable race in 2006 for the Senate and quite well statewide for a Democrat. And he’s only 39…if he’d stayed out of NY politics, he could’ve moved there for awhile and still been viable in TN. But he’s probably ruined that with his abortive New York run and prominent adoption of some “New Yawk Yankee” positions.

    He’ll probably try to smooth it over by saying that he never left because he didn’t file taxes in New York. Although the IRS may want to have a word with him about that.

    Oh Harold Ford, I’ll miss kickin’ you around for being an almost unparalleled douchebag.

  18. hope he tries to run in TN again because it would be even more entertaining than this, if that is possible.

    Are there any other states that allow outsiders to run and even win like NY does?  Unfortunately for Ford, TN is not one of them.

  19. I have a good friend who is a liberal Democrat and worked on the Hill for one of the most liberal Democratic Senators from his (and my) home state.  He now works as the political director for a major trade group, admitting he helps elect Republicans at the local level (since Republicans more than Democrats support his trade group’s industry).  It’s about making a living.

    And one of my wife’s good friends is an animal-loving vegetarian, but also a large law firm partner who makes rain for the firm bringing in meatpacking companies as clients.  Again, it’s about making a living.  She’s married to a man with a modest income and they got 2 li’l ones, and Greater D.C. is very expensive.

    People will do whatever to make a living.  Everyone has their limits, but many people will go against their personal politics if that’s where opportunity lies.

    My wife, for her part, decided against pursuing a job opportunity that would have paid exceedingly well but would have involved working for a company whose business she has qualms about.  She’s not even remotely politically engaged, but she still felt her conscience would bother her, so she didn’t pursue it.

    I have the good fortune of working someplace with a mission consistent with my beliefs.

    But bills gotta be paid, and people will do whatever to pay ’em.

  20. Ambassador Ford for Turkmenistan! Do we even have an embassy there? Maybe we can just send him there anyway.

  21. With Ford out it could mean Mort Zuckerman runs a Bloomberg type campaign on the Indy and GOP lines. Which would be real bad news for the Dems.

    Here is the politico story on it:


    This would be tough for me. I always like Zuckerman on the McLaughlin group & have agreed with alot of his Op-Eds. So I guess if he runs as a Republican he would be the ultimate RINO!

    For sure the Conservative Party of NY would have a fit if he ran and it could set up a 3 way race (that’s how we got Al D’Amato and James Buckley).

    Also Zuckerman could easily through Bloomberg type money into this race and force Gillibrand to raise & spend millions to defend the seat. That’s money that could be used elsewhere.

    Finally how strange would it be if the NY GOP has 2 former members of the McLaughlin Group running for Senate; Zuckerman and Kudlow?

  22. Let me be first to say he would get drubbed by Gillibrand in a general election. If he runs, you’ll get to see if my prediction is right; my track record in the past has been nothing short of mediocre.

  23. in 2012 he will fly to Maine in a helicopter, get a pedicure, switch parties, then primary Olympia Snowe, forcing her to the right and opening the door to a Democratic pickup.

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