I won’t pretend that I wasn’t backing Steve Cohen before last night’s forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters. I’m a Democrat, and I’m unabashed and unrepentant for my support for Democratic candidates, unless they are simply unfit to hold office.
Nor will I pretend that Jake Ford did anything last night to swing my opinion of him. He looked like the little boy that tried on his father’s suit as he sat on the makeshift stage at the Benjamin Hooks Public Library. It was difficult not to feel at least a little sympathy for him as he struggled for answers to questions that someone that put at least a modicum of thought into his candidacy would have anticipated.
I’m not here to verbally decimate him for not having read the USA PATRIOT Act (Although I do take issue with the fact that he apparently does not realize it has actually passed already). Very few people have, including, unfortunately, most of the people that voted for it. Knowing the text of it inside out could take anyone months, as massive portions of it consist entirely of changing “the” to “a” in subparagraph fourteen of another law passed thirty years before. I’ll be honest--- I’m one of the few people in the world that actually enjoys reading something like that, and even I scrambled for the Cliffs Notes on that one after reading just a few of its three hundred mind-numbing pages.
But when you’re asked about Medicare cuts, you need an answer. It doesn’t have to be a great one, but you really must at least address it enough to let people know you care about the issue enough to look into it.
Jake had no answer. “I will defer now just to say that I will update my position on this question later as the election goes on.”
“Right now, I think Congress is doing a pretty good job of it” was part of his answer on whether or not he thought ethics reform was a good idea. We’ve got a congressman cooling his heels in a California prison cell. Another from Texas may well join him soon. Another from Louisiana is stashing cash in Tupperware containers in his freezer, and the only thing that Republicans, Democrats, and the White House can see eye to eye on is that we should all look the other way. We may never be able to fully grasp the scope of the cloud of corruption that followed wherever Jack Abramoff went.
But Congress is doing a “pretty good job”? If Congress got any worse, they would have to hold committee meetings in a parole office.
I’m not here to bash Jake Ford again. It’s superfluous at this point. I’m not up to the task of making him sound less like a suitable candidate than he made himself sound at the candidate forum. Words simply fail at this point. The Ninth District Dynasty ends here.
All that remains is for Jake to do what I know he had to be thinking as he sat bewildered on that stage--- It’s time for him to cut his losses and call it a day. This is an embarrassment to a family with a political legacy that, while certainly not flawless, is at least admirable.
I’ve spoken to Harold Ford Sr. before. If he was still running for office, I would be a supporter of his. I was a fan of his voting record since way before I was old enough to vote. Even ten years out of the game, he’s an intelligent, capable man.
I have my differences with Harold Ford Jr. I make no bones about it. He tends to latch onto “red meat” issues too often for my taste. But at the end of the day, he’s an intelligent, capable man.
Jake, from my brief encounters with him, seems to be a perfectly nice fellow. And on some levels, he certainly seems like a smart man. But when you’re looking for a representative in congress, you look for the extraordinary. “Smarter than the guy that cuts my hair” simply isn’t enough.
As he spoke about our need to pass the Patriot Act, I looked around the room. You tend to do that during the really surreal moments, as if to say “Am I hallucinating, or are you hearing this too?” While I didn’t run a survey to verify it, it appeared that Jake Ford was the only person in the room that didn’t know the Patriot Act was already on the books.
Jake, for the sake of your brother and the rest of your family, you have some soul-searching to do. Why are you running at all? What do you hope to accomplish? Are you driven by the need to make the lives of the people of this nation better, or are you running simply because it’s a cool job?
I’ve made a lot of jokes at Jake Ford’s expense. Sadly, we’ve reached the point where it’s more sad than amusing.
Jake, your chances of winning are not good. If some miracle happens, and Steve Cohen and Mark White get struck by lightning, then you will have become the one guy in Washington DC so ill-informed that George W. Bush looks like a tower of intellect by virtue of standing next to you.
Furthermore, you’re a bleeding wound to your brother’s campaign. As well as he’s doing in the rest of the state, he’s hemorrhaging here. Don’t ask Isaac--- I no longer believe he has your best interest at heart, and after the way he sneered at me for mentioning Harold’s name last night (More on that later), I certainly don’t believe he cares whether or not he destroys Harold’s senate campaign.. Ask Harold’s campaign staff. If you ask them for an honest assessment as to whether you’re hurting Harold or not, they’ll be looking for a back door to shove you out of before you even complete the sentence.