Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman from Tennessee who has been a New York resident for the last three years, is giving serious thought to challenging junior New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand in this year’s Democratic primary. Chuck Schumer, who engineered her appointment by Governor David Patterson to fill Hillary Clinton’s seat, is unhappy. So is Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.
After muscling out all other opposition to Gillibrand, along comes Ford whom Schumer, Reid and other Democratic Party bosses cannot as easily force off the road.
The New York Times editors for once got it right:
The last thing voters of New York State need is a coronation instead of a choice.
Schumer wants a coronation so that he keeps his junior, hand-picked senator under his thumb. Reid likes having a sure vote in his pocket rather than another independent-minded senator whom he would have to buy off. He also likes Gillibrand’s fund-raising prowess. Thus, the Nevada senator, who is facing his own difficulties this fall, decided to put his two cents into New York politics. He called Mayor Bloomberg to urge him not to support Ford, should he decide to run.
What’s the matter, Harry? Doesn’t Harold Ford meet your test of a viable African-American candidate?
“light skinned with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”