Never mind. After threatening to primary Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for the past six weeks, Harold Ford Jr—the conservative former Tennessee congressman boasting the lengthy anti-gay record who now says he is pro-gay rights—says he will not run after all.
Under intense pressure from Democratic Party officials, Harold E. Ford Jr., the former Tennessee congressman, has decided not to challenge Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand in the primary this fall. He has told friends that, while he is convinced he could prevail against Ms. Gillibrand, he feared the winner of the primary would have little money and remain highly vulnerable to a well-financed Republican challenger at a time when the Democratic party controls the Senate by a slim majority.
“I’ve examined this race in every possible way, and I keep returning to the same fundamental conclusion: If I run, the likely result would be a brutal and highly negative Democratic primary — a primary where the winner emerges weak-ened and the Republican strengthened,” Mr. Ford wrote in an opinion article to be published in Tuesday’s edition of The New York Times. “I refuse to do anything,” he wrote, “that would help Republicans win a Senate seat in New York, and give the Senate majority to the Republicans.”
Ford has written an op-ed "explaining" his reasons that will be published Tuesday.
The announcement comes only days after Merill Lynch announced it paid Ford Jr some $2 million annually before bonuses. He still refuses to disclose if he received a hefty taxpayer-funded bonus via the Wall Street "bailout". The announcement also comes only days after a speech to the Stonewall Democratic Club at New York City's LGBT Center where Ford was booed and hustled off-stage.
LGBT activists were the first to pushback against his flirting with Gillibrand's seat because Ford boasted one of the most anti-gay records of a Democrat in Congress. After voting twice for Bush's odious Federal Marriage Amendment, voting against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), voting against needle exchanges, voting against extending hate crime protections to gays and lesbians and voting against gay adoptions, Ford left Congress in 2006 with a "25" (out of 100) rating from the Human Rights Campaign. The former congressman now claims to have supported "civil unions" since he was "elected to Congress in 1996". There is no record of Ford publicly expressing support for civil unions until after his retirement in 2007.
Thanks for thinking of what's best for the "Democratic Party", Junior. Srsly.