Let us now take a moment to mourn the passing of the seriocomic campaign stylings of Harold Ford, Jr., who almost wanted to sort of run for the New York Senate seat, maybe. It was a magical time in our lives, but now it's over: Ford will not run for the Senate. A key reason behind the decision was the unerring way that whenever he opened his mouth to talk about himself, the words that issued forth failed to suggest anything remotely appealing to the voters of New York. Let's take a fond look back!
January 5, 2010: The New York Times reports that Ford is mulling a run for the New York Senate seat currently occupied by Kirsten Gillibrand. Immediately, New Yorkers begin to wonder: "Wait? Harold Ford is from New York now?"
January 11, 2010: Next, New Yorkers wonder, "Wait, isn't this Harold Ford person averse to gay marriage? And didn't he once swear up and down he was pro-life?" But Harold Ford has conveniently switched his positions on those issues, whole hours before anyone started asking!
January 13, 2010: The New York Times basically allows Ford to train a gun at his own foot and empty the clip. The results are magical: Ford comes off as a serial suckler at the Wall Street teat, he contradicts himself on the bailout, reveals that he gets around New York City by limousine and helicopter, discusses his New York football preferences based upon how well he knows the wealthy owners of the teams, BUT HE WILL NOT GUN DOWN THE CHILDREN OF NEW YORK, IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING.
January 18, 2010: In an interview with the New York Daily News, Ford responds to the criticism over his regular pedicures by saying, "This race isn't about feet, it's about issues." Fun fact! Ford granted the NYDN the interview "under the condition that the questions be limited to his rationale for running, and not issues."
January 19, 2010: The Washington Post's Richard Cohen wrote some complete nonsense about the New York Senate race whilst in the throes of an ether stupor, or something. This column would not have happened were it not for Ford, though in fairness some other terrible column would have taken its place.
January 20, 2010: In the sum of all absurdities, the New York Post's Andrea Peyser compares Harold Ford to "punk rock." It's one of the saddest contentions ever made in print.
January 29, 2010: Harold Ford understands the pain of real Americans in the economy, as he is barely eking by on money earned from Merrill Lynch, being the member of a prominent political family and "some MSNBC" that helped to "put food on the table."
February 2, 2010: Harold Ford goes on "The Colbert Report" seemingly unaware that host Stephen Colbert is playing a character and is not actually someone whose approval he needs to win by kissing his ass. The interview does not go well. At one point, Ford dismissively refers to Kirsten Gillibrand as "this young lady I'm looking about running against." Gillibrand is, was, and always will be four years older than Harold Ford.
February 2, 2010: Then, there was this Maureen Dowd column, in which Eleanor Roosevelt's poltergeist plays a starring role.
February 10-16, 2010: Gawker's John Cook goes looking for a straight answer on whether Ford has ever filed a tax return in New York, and is treated to six straight days of nonsense from Ford flack Tammy Sun, who basically made it her mission to wrest the "Most Incompetent Campaign Spokesperson" title from sometime-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton.
February 12, 2010: Many, many weeks too late, a "Draft Harold Ford" website goes up online, in an attempt to prove that New Yorkers are into the whole idea of this pedicured toff they'd never heard of becoming their senator. The site attracts tens of anonymous supporters and many, many people with names like "Mike Hunt" and "Ukant B. Zerious." The page is now down, so Ford will never be able to take comfort in all of the imaginary support his almost-run for the Senate sort of garnered.
February 19, 2010: Harold Ford accuses Kirsten Gillibrand of being insufficiently forthcoming on her tax returns.
February 25, 2010: In terms of his candidacy's viability, a lot was riding on Ford's meeting with the Stonewall Democrats -- a gay rights group of historic importance who were probably interested to hear more about Ford's evolution from someone opposed to gay marriage to someone in favor of pandering to gays who wanted to get married. It did not go well, at all.
And now: is it on to the Indiana Senate race or the Arkansas Senate race or the Delaware Senate race? One can only guess at what the future holds for a candidate with an unlimited amount of prohibitive limitations.