Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., who lost a bitter Senate race in his home state in 2006, and then moved to NYC and became a commentator for MSNBC, is now considering a challenge of appointed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the upcoming election of 2010 to fill out the remainder of Hillary Clinton’s term.
This is a very interesting and fascinating possibility, as Gillibrand was never seen as an ideal choice by NY Governor David Paterson, and has only recently changed her conservative voting record as a Congresswoman, including the issues of gun rights and immigration.
Many prominent fundraisers are behind the possible move by Ford, who has stated that he will declare his intentions by mid February.
Ford is a very attractive, well spoken centrist, and the fact that he is African American and has had congressional experience behind him gives him a great opportunity to compete for the Senate seat.
The fact that he is a “carpetbagger” is no issue in New York, as he has lived in the city for three years now, and New York is famous for electing Hillary Clinton and Robert Kennedy, who had far less residence time in the state before running for the Senate.
Ford’s opposition to same sex marriage could be a problem for him in New York, and he would have to deal with the likely opposition of Senator Chuck Schumer, who has fully backed Kirsten Gillibrand from the beginning, even before she was officially picked by Governor Paterson.
On the other hand, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not had good relations with Gillibrand and is seen as a close friend of Harold Ford, Jr., who is only 39.
Also of interest is that Ford, a few years ago, was thought of as a possible African American candidate for President in the future, before Barack Obama emerged as a leading candidate. The thought is, that had Ford won the Senate seat in 2006, he might have mounted a challenge for President in 2008, and therefore might have been a counterweight against Obama in that race, which would only further have muddied that unbelievable Presidential campaign!