Harold Ford, former vanity non-candidate for US Senate, has officially announced he won’t challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in this year’s primary. New Yorkers throughout the state have responded with a collective: Fine, don’t run, we don’t care about you at all.
For reasons that aren’t clear to me, Harold “I don’t contribute anything to society” Ford has been given another opportunity to fill the New York Times editorial page with his empty platitudes, this time to annouce he’s not actually running for Senator. Look guys, if you’re that hard up for original content, I’ll whip something up for you. Okay? You’re acting like Ford is a public servant or intellectual whose opinion should be treated with respect, when that is clearly not the case. Nobody in this state gives a shit about him — hence the cold and mocking treatment with which his non-campaign was met.
His Op-Ed is titled “Why I’m not running for the Senate.” The Times should run a counterpoint response below it called, “Why won’t Harold Ford fuck off?” Just like the last time he appeared in the Gray Lady’s pages, this latest column touts the virtues of tax cuts and small government, and the dangers of comprehensive health care reform and trying Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in New York City. If you’re a Democrat and that platform doesn’t exactly inspire you — well, join the “Don’t Run, Harry!” club.
Ford’s condescending tone perfectly matches his personality; he sees himself as anointed by the oligarchy for greatness. What kind of balls does it take to mount a campaign in a state where you’ve never paid taxes only then to announce “hey, wait, nevermind,” in a self-serving column in the Times. It’s not as though there was a “Draft Ford” movement sweeping the state. Then, yes, making an announcement not to run despite public pressure is an important and respectful gesture to one’s supporters. Ford’s Op-Ed is not that, though. In fact, has anyone even met a real live Harold Ford supporter? That’s only partially a rhetorical question.
All of this is not to say that incumbants shouldn’t be primaried. They should be, especially when they take money from their party organizations but can’t be counted on for necessary votes. In fact, Accountability Now — an organization dedicated to challenging Democratic incumbents with horrid voting records — has just announced that Arkansas’ Lt. Gov. Bill Halter will mount a primary challenge to god-awful Senator Blanche Lincoln. Early reports show an outpouring of support, something Harold Ford wouldn’t know anything about.
So long, Harry. See you in the funny pages, which is to say The New York Times editorial section, anxiously awaiting your next masterpiece: Why I won’t be going on a jog this afternoon.