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Party Bosses Force Ford From NY Race

From the opinion page of the New York Times:

Why I’m Not Running for the Senate

By HAROLD FORD Jr.

March 2, 2010

WHEN it was reported two months ago that I was thinking seriously about running for the United States Senate from New York, Democratic Party insiders started their own campaign to bully me out of the race — just as they had done with Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Steve Israel and others.

But as I traveled around New York, I began to understand why the party bosses felt the need to use such heavy-handed tactics: They’re nervous. New Yorkers are clamoring for change. Our political system — so bogged down in partisan fighting — is sapping the morale of New Yorkers and preventing government at every level from fulfilling its duty.

The cruel twist, of course, is that the party bosses who tried to intimidate me so that I wouldn’t even think about running against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who had been appointed to the seat by Gov. David A. Paterson, are the same people responsible for putting Democratic control of the Senate at risk.

These are tough times, and the New Yorkers I have met are facing economic adversity with grace and dignity. They worry about their future, care about their neighbors and hope this storm will pass so they can focus on better days ahead. And yet too few in the Democratic Party are really willing to break with orthodoxy to meet these challenges. We need leaders as good as the people they represent — leaders focused on creating jobs, keeping taxes low, helping small businesses and restoring faith in government.

Voting for health care legislation that imposes billions in new taxes on New Yorkers and restricts federal financing for abortions is not good for the people of this state. Voting against critical funds necessary to ensure the survival of the financial services industry — the economic backbone of this state — is not good for the people of New York.

I was considered out of touch with mainstream Democrats when I argued against spending more than $200 million a year to hold the Khalid Shaikh Mohammed trial in New York. I was also labeled out of touch for advocating a payroll tax cut for small businesses and for putting a jobs bill before a scaled-down health reform bill. Though much more needs to be done to create jobs, I am pleased that these ideas have now become part of the Democratic mainstream.

Yet the party has been too slow to change. The effects of its lack of flexibility have been clear in a series of worrisome political events: Ted Kennedy’s “safe” Senate seat was lost to a Republican; Evan Bayh of Indiana and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota announced they weren’t running for re-election; Senate seats held by Democrats in Wisconsin and Delaware now seem to be in jeopardy; New York’s state government faces even more controversy and challenge.

There are compelling reasons for me to run. I believe New Yorkers are hungry for a new direction in government. Our elected officials have spent too much time this past year supporting a national partisan political agenda — and not enough time looking out for their own constituents.

New Yorkers aren’t asking for much. A jobs bill that cuts taxes for the middle class and invests in the future; a health care system that doesn’t bankrupt people when they get sick; and public schools that lay the groundwork for children to take advantage of all the future holds.

I believe raising these issues over the last two months has forced Democrats and Republicans alike to do better. And I will continue holding their feet to the fire. But I will not do so as a candidate for senator from New York.

I’ve examined this race in every possible way, and I keep returning to the same fundamental conclusion: If I run, the likely result would be a brutal and highly negative Democratic primary — a primary where the winner emerges weakened and the Republican strengthened.

I refuse to do anything that would help Republicans win a Senate seat in New York, and give the Senate majority to the Republicans.

I realize this announcement will surprise many people who assumed I was running. I reached this decision only in the last few days — as I considered what a primary campaign, even with the victory I saw as fully achievable, would have done to the Democratic Party.

I am a Democrat. But I am an independent Democrat. I am not going to stop speaking out on behalf of policies that I think are right — regardless of ideology, party or political expediency. I plan to continue taking this message across our state and across our nation.

Harold Ford Jr. was a United States representative from Tennessee from 1997 to 2007.

Which party is ‘forcing out its moderates’?

Which party has the ‘big tent’?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Party Bosses Force Ford From NY Race”

  1. NickB says:

    Indeed, Steve. As we all know, the liberals, socialists, and other fringe leftists hijacked the Democratic party back in the days of LBJ’s “Great Society” and haven’t looked back. All one has to do is look at that party’s so-called leadership to see this as well as the candidates they put up for election and how they turn on the moderates like Ford.

    It will be a lot of fun to watch the American people repudiate the far left at the polls in November. They know now how Obama and his handlers lied through their teeth to get him elected, and did everything they could to brush aside his connections to very unsavory icons on the far left, not to mention the complete BS that he’d govern from the center.

    Things like “health care reform” are nothing but the advancement of socialism. Pelosi is so fervent and wild eyed about it that she wants these very same moderates to hoist themselves upon their own petard for the far left while she has no fear of being thrown out of her phony-a** job.

    It’s ALL about political philosophy and the advancement of socialist-progressive idealism to the “Democratic Party”, and NOTHING about what’s good for this country and it’s interests on the world stage.

  2. JohnMG says:

    …..”I refuse to do anything that would help Republicans win a Senate seat in New York,…..”

    What a narrow-minded fool is Harold Ford. If he truly believes what he puts forth here, why would he NOT want to see an end to the dictatorial policies of the Democrats. He says he would campaign on a platform that is more Republican (certainly more conservative) than Democrat, yet will fight to help the Dems maintain a stranglehold on the legislative body.

    He is a victim of the very tactics he advocates keeping in force. Supposedly they won’t let him be his own person, but then he advocates for maintaining the status quo. “Step out of line, boy, and we’ll smack ya’ down.”

    This is nothing more than posturing, and Ford is nothing he professes to be. If he was, he’d still be an elected Representative from Tennessee. What he really is, is a carpetbagger—and not a very good one at that.

    He says he wants to change the Democrat party, then meekly agrees to cut his own throat, even going so far as to use the knife they provided to him. This alone should be motive enough for him to abandon that ‘ship of fools’. But it isn’t–and he won’t.

    Don’t mourn for him. New York, and we, are better off without another Obama clone in elective office.

  3. JohnMG says:

    P.S. The whole article which he titled ……..”Why I’m Not Running for the Senate.
    By HAROLD FORD Jr.” ………could have been concluded in one sentence; “The Democrats won’t let me.”

    The rest is just self-serving bullshit.

  4. proreason says:

    Ford’s problem is that he is just a liberal nut.

    To pass muster in the Dim party you have to be a raving, foaming-at-the-mouth lunatic.

  5. GetBackJack says:

    Pro – :-)

    But seriously, folks. Is the state of New York a whore’s paradise? Hillary and Bill move there and immediately she runs for the Senate. Carpet baggers were from the North and migrated to screw with the post-war South. Is this some sort of revenge? Tennessee and Arkansas greed-heads roll into the Big City and announce New Yawk is my new home and ya’ll vote for me, ya heah? because ya’ll got nobody to represent?

    What the heck is up with this? Are New Yorkers so stupid they can’t represent themselves? They need outsiders?

    (and before anyone posts it … yes, I know NY campaign statutes allow for this)

    But still … I’d be insulted if I were a New Yorker …

    • proreason says:

      Good point, GBJ. Add Carolyn Kennedy to that list.

    • NickB says:

      NY has always been a springboard for outsiders to run for the Senate and even the WH. Been that way for decades. Hillary moved to NY specifically for that purpose as did Ford. The reality is, running from NY is a media grabber as opposed to running from a state like Arkansas, or not being electable (as a Senator) in your own state…like Ford.

    • GetBackJack says:

      oooo … I’d forgotten that.

      Apparently, the Vatican didn’t though.

      (bada bing)


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