Jackson Baker has a great article, discussing how Ford’s dad and brother are destroying Harold’s chances of ever winning this election. It really does blow my mind that they can’t just shut up for a few weeks. Dad and brother are raising hell, while Uncle John is in court begging for a reduction in his child support. This must drive Harold crazy. This might be a good time for Harold to change his name ….. “I’m Harold Ordfay [Harold, you could go with the Pig Latin name.] and I approved this message”.
Representative Ford who had maintained a cautious and ostensibly neutral distance from his brother Jake Ford’s independent congressional race against Democratic nominee Steve Cohen and Republican Mark White, seemed to cross a line with unexpectedly strong criticism of Cohen.It began when state senator Cohen, on a fund-raising trip to Nashville, checked in with members of the Legislative Plaza press corps and delivered himself of some typically outspoken observations about what he — honestly or conveniently or both — saw as the drag on Ford’s senatorial campaign. Cohen saw Representative Ford’s “tremendous attributes” being overshadowed by the candidacy of brother Jake as well as by a speech given by Harold Ford Sr. in which the former congressman not only conflated a Harold Jr. rally with support for second son Jake but attacked Cohen in language that disturbed many who heard or read about it with its religious overtones.
“We’re from a Christian city here,” Ford Sr. had said at one point. “[Jake] doesn’t believe in legalizing marijuana. This man that’s running against Jake wants some sex shops running in downtown Memphis on a Sunday! That’s our religious holiday.”
After remarking on Representative Ford’s “tremendous attributes,” Cohen told his audience of Nashville media, “For him to come this far and to have the effort to overreach, I guess, and to have his younger brother run in the 9th District, I think has hurt his campaign.”
Further, in a reference to Ford Sr.’s out-of-town residences: “The Ford machine used to have a lot of foot soldiers. … The top brass has moved away from the foot soldiers. It’s hard to be in touch with your foot soldiers when you’re on Fisher Island [Miami] or in the Hamptons.”
That prompted a press release in Representative Ford’s name, which said in part: “Now, it appears that state senator Steve Cohen and Mayor Bob Corker are singing from the same Ford family attack hymnal. I know that Bob Corker is attacking my family because he has come up short on ideas and answers in this campaign. I didn’t know that … Cohen was suffering from the same problem.”
The congressman’s statement also accused Cohen of support for gay marriage, amnesty for illegal immigrants, legalization of marijuana, and “a cut-and-run strategy in Iraq.”
For the record, Cohen has denied favoring gay marriage, opposing only what he calls “constitutional tampering” on top of existing statutes outlawing it. He also introduced a bill last year to legalize the use of marijuana for strictly medical purposes.
“I really think that if Harold Ford Jr. had run with me on a ticket, it would have been a ‘dream team,’” Cohen mused last week in Nashville.
So much for that dream. The reality was that, with the advent of early voting last Wednesday, Ford Sr. had personally taken charge of a Get-Out-the-Vote drive on behalf of both of his candidate sons, routing voters to polling sites via a fleet of buses and other vehicles.