Friday, January 8, 2010

See, Here Is a Problem

As long as the Republicans are beating up on the Dems, and the Dems are beating each other up in the fight to "serve" America... Al Quaeda, or anyone else, can sashay on in and tie us all up.

Published: January 8, 2010

Under assault from allies of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former congressman Harold E. Ford Jr. fired back on Friday afternoon, saying he would be not be “bullied or intimidated” by “party bosses” as he considers challenging her in this fall’s Democratic primary.

Mr. Ford’s interest in the race has rattled the Gillibrand camp, which has quickly sought to portray him as out of step with New York Democratic voters, and, through supporters, like Sen. Charles E. Schumer, tried to dissuade him from entering the race.

A spokesman for Mr. Ford issued a pungent statement defending his interest in the Senate race and rebutting criticisms of his record.

“Its good to have credible candidates explore this race. So what are they afraid of,” began the statement, from Mr. Ford’s new spokesman, Davidson Goldin.

In a swipe at those who have asked Mr. Ford to stay out of the race, Mr. Goldin said that the state needed a senator with the “independence to stand up and do what is right for our state, regardless of what the party bosses in Albany and Washington want.”

The sharp statement is the strongest indication yet that Mr. Ford is serious in his consideration of what would be a marquee challenge to the state’s junior senator, who Democratic leaders had hoped would coast to the nomination.

Mr. Ford, 39, has hired a New York-based public relations consultant, and is reaching out to other potential top-level campaign staffers.

The vivid language and assertiveness in the statement suggest that, unlike other Democrats who considered challenging Ms. Gillibrand, Mr. Ford will not retreat because of pressure from party leaders or the White House. In fact, he seemed to openly question their intrusion into a potential primary.The possibility of a Ford candidacy has won backing from a about a dozen influential Democratic donors in the state, who regard Ms. Gillibrand as lackluster and untested. They include the financier Steven Rattner and his wife, Maureen, and the co-president of HBO, Richard Plepler. Mr. Ford, a five-term Tennessee congressman, moved to New York three years ago for a job in the banking industry.

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