Tennessee Stud Ford Once Landed in Staten Island

All signs look like a senatorial go for Harold "Tennessee Stud" Ford, Jr., who sat down yesterday for his first in-depth interview with Times political reporter Michael Barbaro. Had we had a crack at the Man from Memphis, we would have a hard time refraining from basic Empire State questions such as: "Can you find Plattsburgh on this map?"

But Barbaro's more delicate lance produced several gems, including the down-to-earth response that he roots for the Giants because he breakfasts regularly at The Regency with team owner Steve Tisch:

--Commuting habits?

"I don't really take the subway very often unless it's wintertime and I can't get a taxi on Fifth."

--Visited the five boroughs?

"I was able to do it. Kelly had a -- Chief Kelly, Commissioner Kelly -- invited, I guess, business people in the city, including Sir Harold Evans, in my group. We spent the afternoon with the special operations force, and so I had the chance to helicopter to various areas in the boroughs. The only place I have not spent considerable time is Staten Island.

--Been to Staten Island?

"I landed there in the helicopter, so I can say yes."

--Jets or Giants?

"I had breakfast about every morning when I am in town, or I should say, several mornings, at the Regency. I see my friends the Tisches. Steve Tisch is my close personal friend. I have been to more Giants games.

--Gun owner?

"I don't own them. I do shoot them, and I shoot them at things that can't shoot back. And will continue to do that. And by that, I want to be clear, I don't mean children. I have done a little bird hunting in my day."

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