MEET THE PRESS -- Airdate 09/06/09 --Pictured: Fmr. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) Chair, Democratic Leadership Council, appears on "Meet the Press" with moderator David Gregory in Washington, D.C., Sunday September 6, 2009. Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC NewsWire(Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC NewsWire via AP Images) (Associated Press)

In op-ed, Ford confirms Senate rumors

"New Yorkers deserve a free election," the former congressman writes in the New York Post


Alex Koppelman
January 12, 2010 7:41PM (UTC)

It's official: Former Rep. Harold Ford is "strongly considering running for the United States Senate" in New York.

Well, really, it was official when he started staffing up, but on Tuesday, Ford took to the pages of the New York Post to pen an op-ed that makes it officially official.

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"[O]ur 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," Ford wrote, continuing:

Some have already questioned whether I should be running.

Others are falsifying my record in public life.

New Yorkers deserve a free election.

New Yorkers expect a politics where politicians do what's right based on independent judgment, free of political bosses trying to dictate.

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.

The former Tennessee congressman went on to give some of his background, both personal and political, and he moved to counter some charges that are already dogging him. In doing so, he wasn't entirely forthright. He mentioned, for instance, that he's a registered voter in New York, but not that he registered only a couple months ago after living here for a couple years. And he said, "I am pro-choice -- have always been since I entered politics almost 15 years ago," not mentioning how strenuously he once argued the opposite.

Given the difficulty Ford will face in winning a Democratic primary in one of the most liberal states in the Union, the choice of the Post is itself interesting. As former Salon writer Eric Boehlert noted on Twitter, the Post -- a famously conservative tabloid -- isn't the best way to reach New York Democrats.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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