Harold Ford Jr. "Strongly Considering" Senate Race; Conservatives Give Him a Hand

High Democratic operatives warned Steve Israel and others off challenges to Kirsten Gillibrand, but Harold Ford is unbossed, dammit, at least by the current bosses. The New York Post gleefully affords Harold Ford Jr. a front-page spot from which he announces, "I am strongly considering running for the United States Senate." The thing reads like a campaign speech, in which Ford tells us "some facts about me":

Ford became a New Yorker "more than three years ago," first and foremost. Then come the liberal bona-fides: pro-choice, gun control, "uninterrupted support from organized labor," etc. Name check: Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Un-name check: "New York's senior senator," whose relatively recent gay-marriage turnaround Ford compares to his own, and who must be admiring Ford's nerve -- particularly as it appears in the same Post edition as an op-ed by former GOP assemblyman John Faso saying senior senator Chuck Schumer has "abandoned the interests of his state."

Chuck Schumer is Gillibrand's godfather, and he can't be happy with the attention given to this challenge. Neither is the White House, which says it's "quite happy" with Gillibrand.

Perhaps less content with Gillibrand are the Clintons, who have been big Ford boosters; Bill called Ford "the walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st century." Ford has stuck up for the former President even when it hurt, and was loyal to Hillary in the late primaries. They might like someone like that sitting in the Senate.

Neither Clinton has said anything about Ford's possible entry in the race, nor do they need to at this point, with Republicans and their allies happy to stir the shit. Now they're hooking the issue up to that of Harry Reid, whose offensive "light-skinned" "Negro" comments remain in the news, and who has reportedly asked Mayor Bloomberg not to support Ford.

"Harold Ford Jr. May Be Betting on Harry Reid Not Being in the Senate for Too Long," says National Review's Kathryn J. Lopez. "Schumer wants a coronation so that he keeps his junior, hand-picked senator under his thumb," says David Horowitz's Newsreal. "What's the matter, Harry? Doesn't Harold Ford meet your test of a viable African-American candidate?" "Look based on the the pictures I've seen of Harold Ford, he strikes me as a pretty light-skinned dude!" says Robert A. George. "So, like, what's the deal, Harry? Not enough that you pushed the darker-skinned (though admittedly corrupt) Roland Burris out of the Senate? You can't even tolerate a cafe au lait brother in the Senate? Day-um!"

Ford has defended Harry Reid on the air, which, like the Clintons', is the smart play.

Meanwhile actually-announced Democratic candidate Jonathan Tasini is campaigning on issues, which counts for little against the star power on display in the main arena.

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