Another carpetbagging Southerner makes eyes at New York

A happy announcement for carpetbagging opportunists everywhere: You have a new king, and his name is Harold Ford, Jr.

You may remember Ford as the former five-term Congressman from Tennessee, where his voting record — and campaign rhetoric — marked him as a moderate Democrat. But political winds rarely blow in one direction for long, and when they change, the true opportunist must change with them.

And that’s why Harold Ford is now flirting with the idea of running for the U.S. Senate… for the state of New York. That would be the same seat formerly occupied by Hillary Clinton, whose own New York roots stretch to Illinois and Arkansas.

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In a wide ranging interview with the New York Times, Ford explains his political… uh… development. For example, remember when he used to describe himself as “pro-life” during the Tennessee campaigns? Well, that may not have meant what you thought it meant.

To say that I am pro life is just wrong. I am personally pro-choice and legislatively pro-choice….

I was not going to cede the language of life to the National Right to Life Committee. When asked questions when I was on the ballot, I have often opened answers, especially in areas outside of urban areas, outside of Memphis, outside of Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville, making clear, that if the Republicans are so pro-life, which I am, why is it we are denying benefits to veterans? Why is it we are denying equal pay treatment to National Guardsmen.

Ok, but what about his opposition to gay marriage, voting twice for the Federal Marriage Amendment? That’s changed too (though he’s still getting familiar with his new position.)

I am for gay marriage. Or same-sex marriage. I don’t want to say it the wrong way.

Uh huh.

But least Ford really knows the state he wants to represent, right?

Q. Have you traveled all five boroughs?

A. I will tell you what I did. 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.

Q. Have you been to Staten Island?

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

Of course, no man is an automaton, and Harold Ford has his hobbies, just like you:

I don’t own [guns]. 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.

Well, there goes my follow-up.


  • Brian Saint-Paul

    Brian Saint-Paul was the editor and publisher of Crisis Magazine. He has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America, in Washington. D.C. In addition to various positions in journalism and publishing, he has served as the associate director of a health research institute, a missionary, and a private school teacher. He lives with his wife in a historic Baltimore neighborhood, where he obsesses over Late Antiquity.

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