For all those who wondered, Harold Ford Jr. has proven once again that yes, he and Jake are related. For Harold’s latest campaign stunt clearly seems to be more in line with the Jake Ford “This is WWE stuff. We gotta bark at each other. Bark!” campaign style than anything one could expect to see out of sober adults.
If this was the idea of someone on Ford’s staff, that staffer needs to be fired and exiled to the furthest corners of the political universe. If it was Ford’s idea, the campaign manager should resign because he obviously has no control over the candidate.
We can expect nothing but downward momentum out of this. It would be one thing if Ford came off well in this--- He did not. He came off like a swaggering schoolyard bully, only he came away with the bloody nose. He was not able to make Bob Corker lose his composure, although Ford himself obviously did. And he was unable to pull Corker off of message.
But most of all, Ford allowed himself to be tricked into mentioning his family. Everyone knew at the onset of this race that Ford would face no greater hurdle than his family--- That was made clear when his Uncle John was indicted the day after Ford announced his candidacy. Between that and his brothers running the Dumb and Dumber campaign here in the Ninth District, there were any number of openings for an attack. Corker slyly found one that didn’t require mentioning any of the clan by name—Lobbying reform.
By framing it as “lobbying reform” rather than the “Keep Harold Sr. out of Harold Jr.’s office bill”, he managed to attack Ford’s most glaring weak spot without attacking it.
It would be unreasonable to carry the kind of familial baggage Harold Ford Jr. carries and not expect it to be brought up during the campaign. It would have been like campaigning against George W. Bush without saying “So where are those WMDs?”. When your opponent has so obvious a weak spot, you have to go after it, and as much as he likes to play the role of “political outsider”, this is not Corker’s first barbecue. He knows this.
Harold knows it too. Not only did he come off looking weaker in this, but he got duped into playing the “family card” for Bob Corker.
Stick a fork in Harold Ford Jr. For after this public confrontation that backfired as radically as it has, Bob Corker will have to be caught with the proverbial “dead woman or live boy” to lose this race. It’s still not impossible--- But this monumental blunder put Bob Corker in the driver’s seat.
For this gamble to work, Ford would have had to make Corker back down and look spineless. He rolled craps. Corker walked away poised, and despite the large gap between their heights, Corker looked like the much bigger man.
To answer the question put forward by my friend Leftwing Cracker--- Yes. Ford screwed up.