In my rush to adequately convey the absolute absence of political gravitas in the Jake Ford campaign and the thuggish Napoleon complex exhibited by his brother Isaac, I’ve overlooked a valued member of Team Ford--- T.
I can’t bring myself to follow the lead of Joe Ford Jr. and refer to him as “Mr. T”, for I have far too many fond memories of Clubber Lang and B.A. Baracus. But I’m sure I’ll come up with something else to call him.
The first time I saw T-Cup was at the League of Women Voters forum (Make sure you call it a forum, not a debate, lest you’ll anger Darth Isaac). He was arguing angrily with an older white Cohen supporter. I didn’t get to see who raised their voices first, so I didn’t write about that.
The next time was at the South Main Association debate that Jake obviously didn’t want to show up for. When I spoke to him on the phone regarding the event, he gave me excuses that frankly were undone by simply reading the press release and making some phone calls. Instead, he sat on stage all night with a sullen expression on his face, then tried to pick a fight with Jackson Baker. After the famous “Hot Dog” incident, after Jake walked backwards to his vehicle with arms outstretched like some absurd professional wrestler, T-Bag remained behind to escort another member of the entourage out. I looked over, saw him, and said hello.
“I ain’t talking to you,” he said angrily.
“Okay,” I said before shrugging and going back to my conversation. A minute or so later, I turned back to T-Ball, and he was still glaring at me.
“I ain’t talking to you,” he said again.
“Yeah. I get that,” I said, wondering if he understood the irony of talking to me multiple times to tell me he’s not talking to me.
“I ain’t talking to you, because you’ve got your device for your internet site,” he said, pointing at the recorder sitting in full view in my shirt pocket. He had no doubt heard my recording of Isaac Ford coming off like something less than the political operative he would like us to see him as. He continued to glare until the older lady he was escorting came outside.
I can see why she needed protection--- What, with Jake running around and all. So kudos to T-Leaf for walking her out.
When I arrived at the debate Saturday night, there was a lady sitting outside with a sign. I paused to read it--- It was a question about reparations that she wanted the candidates to answer, as well as one about a bill to teach African-American studies in school that has been stalled since 1979. I wished her luck, and said I hope she got her answers.
I wasn’t there when Cohen came out of the debate, so I didn’t get to see how he responded. When Mark White came out, he was certainly kind to her--- I’m not sure how substantively he addressed her questions, as his answers to everything consist of 1) “This is why I’m running” 2) “You know, I manage a payroll of ninety employees” and 3) “I think it’s time we send a businessman to Washington”. If it cannot be answered by one of those statements, it doesn’t get answered. I almost wonder if he gives the same answer when a waitress asks him what he wants to eat.
If Jake spoke to her at all, I missed it (And he very well might have). But I did see T-Minus talking to her. He had his back up, getting in her face just like he did the older white man at the League of Women Voters Forum.
At this point, I’m hard pressed to think of a campaign staff less effective than the Axis of Duh. And I don’t say that lightly, either. I’ve seen some bumbling buffoons in my day, but never have I seen the kind of open and blatant hostility that these three display every chance they get.
The way Isaac talked to me after the LWV forum is a mistake that no political operative with room temperature IQ would make. Even if I hadn’t recorded it, I still would have written what an ass he was. The recording simply meant he had no way to deny it. Part of being on a campaign is knowing that when you’re in public, you are representing the campaign. I know operatives that won’t even order a beer without removing campaign paraphernalia first--- And that’s a damn smart policy.
The way Jake Ford acted after the downtown debate is inexcusable for a candidate for any office--- Much less the US Congress. Jake even acknowledged that any spitting incident was accidental--- His words were “Didn’t your mama teach you how to eat?” He was trying to antagonize the press so he could play himself up as a victim of the press, so he took something that most of us overlook every time we eat while standing close to someone and made a huge deal out of it. Instead of an aggrieved candidate, he looked like a spoiled, petulant child.
And T-Kettle boils over every time he’s let out of the house unmedicated. His entire existence seems to be measured only in varying degrees of anger. He’s the omnipresent, mostly silent sidekick, like some deranged version of Oddjob from the James Bond movies. If he’s coming to your political event, make damn sure all knives and forks are plastic.
On second thought, just play it safe and serve finger food.
A few days from now, the Jake Ford camp will be sitting around wondering where they went wrong. Not Harold Sr--- He’ll know exactly where they went wrong. At the end of the day, you simply cannot send Isaac and T-Pot out to threaten every voter.