Friday, October 07, 2005

Ford On Campaign Trail Seeking US Senate Seat

The U.S. Senate seat Harold Ford, Jr. seeks won't appear on ballots for 13 months. But during a multi-event trip to Cookeville Wednesday, Ford's campaign operated at a frenzied level that suggested the final weeks of his effort rather than the initial months.

Juggling telephone radio appearances with a zig-zag itinerary, Ford hit all the regular political stops -- sessions with Tennessee Tech University administrators and history students, a breakfast meet and greet at the Holiday Inn and lunch with the Rotary Club. In between, the 35-year-old Ninth District U.S. Representative from Memphis stopped every person in eyesight.

"My name is Harold Ford, Jr. and I'm running for United States Senator," he told a traveling salesman checking out of the Holiday Inn. He walked no further than four steps before spotting a group of Averitt Express employees and made a similar introduction. Before moving on to a waiting vehicle and campaign staff, he lingered to talk about their company, and asked their concerns. Staffers took close notes, and Ford exchanged business cards with everyone he saw.

Ford explained this approach to a breakfast crowd of nearly 30 gathered at the hotel.

"You'll see plenty of me in the media this next year," Ford Said. "But you'll also see me on the ground over and over again, listening to you and finding out what we can do to make this country even better."

During a brief speech, Ford focused his comments largely on economic factors. He called for a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility on the national level. That, he said, will make things easier for state legislators and agencies whose budgets are not given free reign for expansion.

"All I want to do is bring a little mathematics -- a little arithmetic back to Washington," Ford said.

Source: The Herald-Citizen