“This was a straight setup. I’m disgusted we even showed up,” Isaac Ford grumbled after Monday night’s candidate forum. He had witnessed the same sad performance out of his brother Jake that the audience had, and was one of the few Jake Ford supporters in the room unwilling to pretend that he had made a good showing.
“What? The debate?” I asked. I was standing only about four feet away and had overheard an argument between a Ford supporter and a Cohen supporter only moments before.
“This was a fucking setup,” he said.
“How is a debate a setup?” I asked him. I won’t pretend that I’m a Jake Ford supporter, but I can honestly say that if they thought something was unfair, I wanted to hear about it.
Isaac looked at me angrily and said “It’s not a debate. It’s a forum, sir.”
“Okay,” I said, still waiting for what was unfair about the forum.
Instead of answering me, he looked up and said “What’s your name?”
“Rick Maynard,” I said, holding out my hand. I had spoken to him briefly the day before at his brother’s campaign rally, but I certainly couldn’t fault him for not remembering. I’m sure he met a lot of people that day.
“Rick Maynard, what do you do?” he asked defensively. I wasn’t really sure how that tied into what was unfair about the forum, but okay.
“I am a local blogger---“
And that was all Isaac had to hear.
“You’re a local blogger. That’s what I thought. You’re one of those Cohen bloggers, so get out of here. Get out of here. Write it all tonight. Write it all tonight. Enjoy writing to your white community, which is not gonna---
“You know, I---
“How the fuck did you get in here?”
I thought that was a strange question, as anyone could show up to the forum, but I ignored it. I had no hostile intent in this conversation, and I wanted to make that clear.
“I actually wrote a very f---“ I was going to say “fair piece about Harold”, but I was interrupted.
“I’m talking to my buddy here. I’m not going to conversate [sic] with you,” he said. I had actually been near the young man he described as “his buddy” before he was, as he was the one that had been arguing with the Cohen supporter, so I didn’t feel the need to walk away simply because Isaac arrived. I had actually wanted to talk to the “buddy” and get his take on the debate. He was obviously one of the few people in the building unashamed to defend Jake after that performance, and I wanted to get his take.
“I’m not trying to fight you,” I said, holding up my hands. I was going to say I simply wanted their perspective, and if they felt they were treated unfairly, I wanted to know about it. I will not deny that I support Cohen in this campaign, but frankly, I’m liberal enough to care if someone feels they were mistreated.
“Fight?” Isaac asked. “You’ll know when I fight you. “I’ll tell you that. I’m not going to fight you here in front of all these witnesses---“
“I wrote a very fair piece---“ I continued, trying to head off this argument.
“--- so I can go to jail,” he continued.
“I wrote a very fair piece about Harold today,” I said. I thought he came off sounding pretty good in the piece I had written for the River City Mud Bugle.
“Harold?” he sneered. “I want to talk about Jake.”
The way he said “Harold” caught me off guard. It was almost as though I had said some kind of dirty word. I admit, I didn’t even know what to say to that.
“What’s the name of your blog? What’s the name of your blog?”
At this point, I knew any chance of a rational conversation was over. I didn’t talk to him to get some kind of a public argument. I simply wanted to find out what, if anything, was unfair about that forum, but he wanted to make the conversation about me.
“Have a nice day,” I said, then turned and walked away.
I didn’t catch everything he said to me as I was walking off. And unfortunately, since I had my back to him, the digital voice recorder that was sitting in the front pocket of my shirt was pointed in the wrong direction. You can listen to it or download it here. If anyone can screen the room noise out of the latter part of the file enough to get what was said, then you’re sharper with audio software than I am, and I have no problem admitting it. I know the f-bomb was dropped a few more times, but I can’t honestly say I remember precisely what was said anymore. Someone else started a conversation with me as Isaac was still ranting, and I quit recording at that point.
Let this be a lesson in politics for the neophyte Ford brothers. A political operative that knows what he’s doing never loses his cool in public like that. They certainly don’t chastise people that they know are writers and say “Write it all tonight”. They don’t curse at people when media is in the room--- If I hadn’t recorded the conversation, someone else very well might have.
And they’re certainly smart enough to know that when they speak in public, they’re on the record.
Jake Ford is clearly not the only younger Ford brother that doesn’t know what he’s doing.
It's been pointed out to me that there was a problem with the earlier audio link. It should be repaired now, and can be accessed by clicking the earlier link or clicking right here. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Fourth time is a charm, I hope. Audio links should be fixed.