The list of politicians rumored to be considering a run against appointed freshman senator Kirsten Gillibrand continues to fluctuate on a near-daily basis. A couple of days ago it was Long Island Republican congressman Peter King who said he was “looking at” the possibility. Now it’s Democrat Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman from Memphis who lost a close battle for a Tennessee senate seat in 2006. It was after that defeat that Ford moved to New York and became the head of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.
Now, a couple of months after a mysterious phone poll gauged interest in a Ford primary against Gillibrand, the former congressman is reportedly “weighing a bid” with the backing of some high-profile Democrats. New York has a history of electing carpetbaggers, like Hillary Clinton and Robert F. Kennedy, to the senate — but they were also a Clinton and a Kennedy. Could Ford, a lesser-known politician from a family New Yorkers don’t care about (not to mention, someone more conservative than Gillibrand 2.0), repeat their success?