As most know by now, Harold Ford Sr. and A.C. Wharton both opened their wallets for Julian Bolton in the TN 9th District Congressional race.
What very few are talking about is what this actually means.
Nikki Tinker has been playing up the “I worked for Ford Jr.” angle in an attempt to make herself look like the heir apparent. Ford Jr. hasn’t had a close race since getting elected. Particularly not last time, when the GOP ran current Democratic contender Ruben Fort in the hopes that nearsighted old ladies would accidentally pick the wrong name.
So presumably, if Nikki Tinker was in as tight with the Ford family as she seems to want us to believe, then she should have no problem pulling off an endorsement, right?
So… Where is it? Where’s the check? I just ran a search on Open Secrets, and no one named Harold Ford has given any money to Nikki Tinker.
If not for yesterday, I would have guessed that they wanted to stay out of it. The only Ford running in this primary doesn’t need the money--- MySpace doesn’t charge a monthly fee.
There’s a larger consequence to Ford Sr. giving money to Julian Bolton--- And it’s not unintentional.
With his tacit endorsement of Julian Bolton, Harold Ford Sr. is running something of a misdirection play.
He doesn’t want to come out in favor of Cohen. But he’s done the next best thing.
It could hurt his standing in the black community if he picks the one white/ Jewish candidate when there are a dozen black candidates to choose from.
Does he throw his support behind the one contender out of that field that actually has a little momentum? No. In fact, by writing that check to Bolton, he threw a roadblock in front of her. Now, Bolton is the one with the upward momentum.
Ford Sr.’s name is still treated with enough reverence around here to make sure that Bolton is going to pick up five or six points out of this. If Tinker is lucky, she’ll hold steady at 17%. But I suspect that some of those voters shifting Bolton’s way will be coming out of her pocket.
Harold Ford Sr. is a very intelligent man. He does nothing by accident. His motives aren’t always obvious, but they’re always there.
He’s done exactly what he wanted to do. He’s handed this election to Steve Cohen.
Is it conjecture? Sure. But try and explain it some other way.