With less than two weeks to go, Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. is in the homestretch of a race that has been the culmination of his ambitions for many years. He continues to parry and thrust effectively in the battle against his GOP nemesis Bob Corker, the former Mayor of Chattanooga, TN.
We’ve heard much about an ad run by the RNC that links Ford tounge and cheek with a white “playboy bunny” who isn’t wearing any visible clothing. I laughed out loud when I saw this ad and give a gold star to its creators. The ad is a masterpiece of Republican deception that tills the soil of white racial fears very effectively. It beautifully mixes fears of miscegenation with staple GOP wedge issues in a way that is both funny and memorable.
There have been shouts from both the Corker campaign that asked the party to take down the ad and the Ford campaign which maintains the ad hits way below the belt and is beneath the dignity of a Senate race. I must disagree with both on this score. This is what you get when you date outside of your race, which I of course have no problem with. He is 36, single, and looking. He knows that he is expected to marry some accomplished sistah from a prominent boogie family. He just ain’t in no hurry to settle down and enjoys playing the field and whoever throws herself in his general direction.
Given the fact that young Harold is a corporate whore of legendary prowess and a demagogue willing to mine the ignorance and prejudice of the electorate advocating for “abstinence” programs he knows damn well don’t work and put kids lives at risk, and against “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, which is code for anti-Hispanic prejudice, I have no problem with the Republicans attacking him for being too friendly with nubile young white women.
The Washington Post article linked to above has an excellent little vignette about a sick, rural, unemployed, white Republican in his late fifties who is “willing” to consider voting for Ford, but is similarly unwilling to consider Ford marrying his daughter. People like this fascinate democratic strategists to no end. They build whole campaigns around appealing to these people and ignore black and brown folks. I know that Harold won’t make the same mistake, he’ll roll out all the usual local-boy-makes-good-bromides to rally the black vote. Ultimately, I think Ford wins because he has made the effort to talk to some of these rural white voters up close and personal and lays it on as thick as possible speaking of faith and values and whatnot.
His poll numbers are excellent and he stands a better than even chance to win this race and compete for the brass ring of the Presidency against Barack Obama. The question is: who will Black America choose?