Wednesday, 16 February 2005

F-Unit for Senate

The Hill reports that Harold Ford, Jr. will be running for the Democratic nomination in the open-seat race for Bill Frist’s seat in the Senate in November 2006. While the article suggests that Ford’s rather controversial family may be a handicap, he’s generally stayed out of the shadow of uncle John Ford’s sleaze and his father’s alleged corruption.

James Joyner suggests that Tennessee has a “rather deep” bench of potential Republican opponents, but social conservatives like Van Hilleary, who make up most of the House delegation, haven’t fared all that well in statewide races; in recent years, successful Republican candidates have been in the moderate wing of the party, like Frist, Lamar Alexander, Don Sundquist, and Fred Thompson, and it doesn’t look like there are many of those on offer. Despite Tennessee’s generally conservative outlook, it’s a state that’s willing to elect moderate Democratic politicians like Phil Bredesen and (in his pre-veep life) Al Gore in statewide races by fairly comfortable margins, so it seems to me that Ford has a pretty good shot, particularly if the inept Hilleary gets the GOP’s nod.

By the way, Mike Hollihan has gotten a sneak peak at the campaign poster:

[HFordJ: New Release in 2006]

1 comment:

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At this time, I think Ed Bryant is the front runner, though that may well change. Remember that Bryant was the guy who was the popular choice for the Senate, but the Rove White House team wanted, and got, Lamar! over him. If Bryant can tone down his social conservatism, his biggest calling card, to emphasise general conservatism, he’s a lock. But a lot of Tennesseans like his social views and want him to run on that.

Ford also has troubles. Dems of the Left have been working to get him to drop the DLC centrist moves with some success. If he’s forced to play to his Dem base and not the red-staters who might be interested, he’s dead.

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