Former Tennessee congressman and current New York political heartthrob Harold Ford got the Big Interview Chair (and a nice cuddle) at the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, and today Ford gets a byline on the New York Times op-ed page.
In both instances Ford calls for tax cuts for businesses, more focused health reform legislation, and jobs jobs jobs. But in the WSJ he also gets to take a few whacks at interim Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-David Paterson).
Mr. Ford’s main criticism of Ms. Gillibrand—echoed by others—is that she’s little more than an acolyte of Democrat Chuck Schumer.
And so Ford is mulling over a primary challenge to Gillibrand in this fall’s Democratic Senate primary. From the Journal:
Anticipating criticism that a primary would be divisive and cost money better spent on the general election, Mr. Ford argues that it’s more important for voters to have the opportunity to choose the Democratic nominee. “In this race, the reality is that Senator Gillibrand was appointed by a governor who was not elected,” he said, referring to the fact that Mr. Paterson became governor when his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, resigned in the wake of a prostitution scandal. “She is not the incumbent. New Yorkers have never had a chance to vote for her.”
One question: Will the Times and the Journal give Gillibrand a chance to whack back?
UPDATE: I forgot to mention the puff piece on Ford in the news section of Monday’s Times. It included this:
Mr. Ford has already lashed out at “party bosses” who, he says, are trying to protect Ms. Gillibrand from a challenge, and has latched on to the language [Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott] Brown used to describe a post in the Senate as “the people’s seat.”
What the Times big wet kiss did not include was this: Any response from those party bosses or Sen. Gillibrand or anyone.
It’s clear the Times wants Ford to launch a primary challenge to Gillibrand. But really, fellas, you’re gonna tear a ligament at this pace.