Harold Ford Jr. Takes His Case Directly to the People

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Photo: Getty Images

In case anyone wasn't already sure that the White House is none too pleased about Harold Ford Jr.'s potential candidacy against Kirsten Gillibrand, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs made things perfectly clear with his creepy and ominous remarks yesterday. But he's not the only one joining in on the Save Gillibrand campaign. David Paterson, who elevated Gillibrand from little-known upstate congresswoman to little-known senator, said that Ford should "look for another state to run a primary." And Harlem Assemblyman Keith Wright chimed in, "You can't just come off the planet Krypton and say, 'I am running for Senate.' I know it's been done before, but those people had the last names of Kennedy and Clinton." Good point, except that in this weird analogy, Ford is Superman, we think, and therefore would have a pretty good reputation as well. But Ford has yet to be terrorized by the widespread Democratic-establishment backlash against him, and today he made his case to New Yorkers in a Post op-ed.

In addition to laying out his credentials, the gist of Ford's argument is that democratic elections work best when someone is running against another person. Hard to argue with.


It's true: I am strongly considering running for the United States Senate.

I do so because our best as a nation has always come when we test our ideas and ourselves, and when we trust competition to refine the steel of our convictions and the truth of our arguments....

And New Yorkers want an honest and serious debate about how to grow our economy, create new jobs downstate and upstate and keep New York state and our country safe.

We'd guess that most people would agree with that. Of course debate is good. A competition of ideas is good. Especially because Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate, not elected, she should face a real primary opponent. But the question for many New Yorkers — despite Ford's assurances that he's "been a New York resident for more than a year" — likely remains, "Sure ... but why you?"

Ford: I'm gearing up for Senate race [NYP]
President Obama to Harold Ford: Drop talk of running for Kirsten Gillibrand's Senate seat [NYDN]