Thursday, July 28, 2005

Democrats' Rising Star Makes Campaign Stop In Crossville

A tired but enthusiastic senatorial candidate made a quick visit to Crossville Saturday, greeting the party faithful at a rally on the courthouse lawn and later pressing the flesh with attendees at the annual meeting and picnic of the Cumberland County Farm Bureau.

Make no mistake that Harold Ford is a rising star representing a newly defined party line in Tennessee and that someone in high places likes this candidate. He has gained immeasurable national exposure on CNN, Fox

News and was selected to make a television speech during the Democratic convention.

And 16 months before the election, a reporter from the Los Angeles Times was shadowing Ford throughout his dozen campaign stops on Saturday.In typical campaign style, Ford arrived late for the courthouse rally and supporters feared the threatening rains would arrive first. When he did exit his SUV, he immediately began working the crowd and did not stop until he had shaken every hand of those in attendance.

Cumberland County Democratic Party Chairman Randy York then introduced Fourth District Congressman Lincoln Davis who spokes words of high praise about his counterpart from the Ninth District, representing Memphis.

"Tennessee is a blue state," Rep. Lincoln Davis said to the crowed gathered by the Cumberland County Democratic Ladies Club from the gazebo under threatening skies. "The state just has to get the right candidate."

Ford says he is the man for the Democrats to send into the fray to replace Sen. Bill Frist who announced he will not seek re-election.

Davis described Ford as a "blue dog Democrat who cares about people ... he speaks his message about the way he thinks can be changed and done."

In his speech Ford decried the number of jobs leaving the state and the war in Iraq which he described as "a war with no end in sight."

"The country always looks back to the Democratic Party to fix the nation's problems," Ford said. He went on to make reference to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as an example, citing, "If it weren't for FDR, we might not have gotten out of the depression and out of that war."

On the jobless rate and the loss of jobs to countries overseas and south of the border, Ford said, "We have to find a way to educate our workers. We are finding ourselves in such a great disadvantage to China."
He lamented recent national policy that has the U.S. borrowing money from China and Japan.

At age 26 Ford was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently serving his fifth term. Ford sits on the House Budget Committee and the House Committee on Financial Services.

He comes from a long-time political family in Memphis which includes, as he described, "my crazy uncle," John Ford, former state representative who resigned in the wake of an FBI probe.

In addition to making himself known in East Tennessee, Ford finds himself in a position of having to distance himself from his own family. Ford said he is confident people will readily recognize the distinctions between himself and others.

Rain brought the rally to an abrupt halt but not before Ford concluded, "It feels good to be a Democrat, even in the rain."

From: The Crossville Chronicle

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