Last week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee took a shot at Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford -- a contender for the Senate seat Bill Frist is vacating -- by launching fancyford.com. The site took Ford to task for living "the good life"-- fancy hotels, an Armani suit, fine dining and a stop at Playboy's Super Bowl party last year. There was something subtly racist about the whole thing; maybe it was the use of the word "fancy" -- "fancy man" being a synonym for pimp -- or maybe it was the picture of Ford's black face hovering above a photo of four white Playboy Bunnies.
Whatever it was, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has just fired back. The DSCC's veryfancyfrist.com is a spot-on replica of the fancyford site, with the focus turned on the man who'd like you to think that he's the Republicans' presidential front-runner.
It's a little silly all the way around -- is anyone really surprised that members of Congress stay in nice hotels and (sometimes) wear good suits? -- but at least the DSCC manages to substitute substance for racism. In place of that photograph of the Playboy Bunnies, the DSCC site has a stack of cash and a photo of a ship in port, reminders of the ongoing investigation into Frist's financial dealings and his flip-flop on the Dubai Ports World deal.