The Smoking Gun’s had fun providing us with the eccentric tour and concert riders of rock stars. Now they have Harold Ford’s. The Tennessee Democrat now making eyes at Kirsten Gillibrand’s New York Senate seat had some requirements for an appearance at Northwest Missouri State University in April 2009, for which his agents received on his behalf 19 grand. (Think what he could have demanded if he’d won his 2006 Senate race!)
Nothing too scandalizing here, though the security concerns are interesting. Ford wanted “all name signs by driver or designated pick up person… to read ‘H.F.'” Presumably that coding was devised in case some assassin planned to show up at the airport with a Harold Ford sign, lure Ford into a limo, and speed him into oblivion. That’s the attention to detail we look for in a candidate!
Also, Ford wanted an “alternative” exit and entrance from the venue. We understand the school fashioned him a trapdoor and had a winch ready to lift him through the skylight.
Where Ford slipped up was in notifying the school that he is allergic to shellfish. We suppose he could have just refused paella if it were prepared for him and had more of the inevitable side salad. And if this rider were intercepted by his enemies, they could have snuck bits of prawn into the salad and ruined his appearance at NMSU, and his career. Well, we suppose at this stage he has a taster.