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November 13, 2004

Ford for nominee

In the aftermath of the disastrous performance by Democrats in 2002 and 2004, speculation has begun over who will carry their flag in 2008. Hillary Clinton is by all accounts the frontrunner, with universal name recognition and immense popularity among the Democratic faithful. The nomination is probably hers for the taking, and I can't help but view the prospect with mixed feelings. On the one hand, a Clinton candidacy would have many advantages for whoever is the Republican nominee. The intensely strong feelings she inspires among her opponents would guarantee a unified GOP base right out of the gate. A number of ready-made scandals could be resurrected and brought back into the light. She's another Northeastern liberal, who haven't exactly had the best track record at the top of the ticket lately. And so another Clinton candidacy would make the GOP's job a lot easier.

But on the other hand, I'd like to see the Democrats return to the mainstream. I want to see them shift to the center, reflecting the generally rightward shift of the country, and nominating Hillary would not be a step in that direction. And with that, I place into nomination the name of Representative Harold Ford of Tennessee.

Ford has many significant advantages that would make him a real threat to win the Presidency. He's a moderate, being a member of both the New Democrat Coalition and the Blue Dog Coalition. He's articulate and attractive. He's young; he will be 38 on Election Day 2008, just barely passing the Constitutional threshold of 35. His youth will be an asset for a party that desperately needs new blood. Despite his youth, he's not callow, and in 2008 he'll have 12 years of experience in the House. He's Southern, as have been the past three successful Democratic candidates for President.

Oh, and he's African-American. I mention this last because I feel it's a shame that race continues to matter in this country, but his heritage would be an undeniable asset in the election.

Harold Ford could win, and become our second President Ford as well as our second black President. If the Democrats are smart, he'll be the nominee.

November 13, 2004 in Election '08 | Permalink


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