Sunday, September 11, 2005

Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Makes A Huge Splash At Annual Labor Day Celebration

"We failed ... when we didn't help the people who didn't have the means to get out of New Orleans," said U.S. Rep. Harold Ford, 9th District.

"We, as a nation, over the last several years have contributed to widening the gap between poor and rich people. It took a natural disaster to really bring this to light."

Ford, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, spoke to frequent applause.

Ford handily beat Clarks-ville's state Sen. Rosalind Kurita 326-157 (67%-33%) in a straw poll taken at the picnic.

In his remarks, Ford said America "failed as a nation" in its handling of the hurricane disaster in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

"(Former Democratic vice presidential candidate) John Edwards was right, when he said we live in two Americas. We, as a party, and as a country, have to redouble our commitment to make sure this is made right.

These people (in the Gulf) are our fellow countrymen, and we owe it to them, and to all of our children, to make sure the mistakes of the past couple of weeks never happen again," he said.

Referring to some complaints that the slow Bush administration response to the hurricane reflects a racist divide in America, Ford said, "I don't think the president is a racist, but I can guarantee that if the majority of the people who had been caught in this hurricane had've been rich, the response would have been much faster."

From: The Leaf Chronicle

More: Yesterday's event was a huge success for Congressman Ford and his campaign. My father and I, along with a couple of friends made the trip up from all the way from Lawrence County just to see the Congressman.

We arrived about 2:00 and did some volunteer work basically until 8:00. Whether it was getting lapel stickers on all of the event goers or doing bumper sticker mania after the event, the Ford volunteer crew was all over it. And the results showed. Congressman Ford won the straw poll of the U.S. Senate race at the celebration by an overwhelming margin.

The Congressman arrived about 6:15 to a wild and enthusiastic crowd. We were right there to greet him as he exited his vehicle. However, there little time to talk. The Congressman went right into campaign mode. Everyone he saw coming up from the parking area, he greeted, then followed them back to their vehicle where he personally put his bumper sticker on their vehicle.

After he had greeted a number of people and got bumper stickers on their vehicles, we all walked up to the event area. At the entrance, Ford was greeted by a crowd of cheering fans. As soon as he entered the crowd, he was mobbed like a Hollywood celebrity. For about 20 minutes or so, the Congressman pressed hands and took photos with adoring supporters. Then it was on to the tent to make his speech.

Congressman Ford was the second speaker of the night behind Mrs. Kurita. As soon as he took the stage and got behind the podium, the energy level instantly rose. In his speech as detailed above, he spoke of his anger of the failure of the Bush Administration in relationship to the recent hurricane. He also made the point that we have to make sure it never happens again. After he completed his speech, Ford left to a standing ovation.

All in all, the day was yet another huge success in the campaign for Harold Ford Jr.

Check in tomorrow as I will be doing some photo blogging from the event.