Wise and selfless nomadic senatorial candidate Harold Ford announced today in an op-ed in the New York Times that — after some deep soul-searching and a lot of personal reflection — he has decided not to push an ugly and divisive Democratic primary battle in the state he just moved to a few months after his failed 2006 Senate race in Tennessee…
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… 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…
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.
So, what's next to Harold Ford? Well, I guess it's time for a slightly sadder and wiser Ford to strap on his backpack, hit the open road with an extended thumb and a glimmer of hope in his heart that the next state will be the one to welcome him with open arms into their open senate seat. The one that will not have him trailing in the primary polls by 18 points. The one that is more friendly to people who aren't friendly to gay people.
One must keep hope alive.
Tags: Harold Ford Jr., Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, Primaries, Senate