Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ed Bryant Agrees...Harold Ford Jr. Is For Real

According to Tuesday's Memphis Flyer, Ed Bryant has came to the realization that he and his fellow Republican opponents face a tough race against Congressman Harold Ford Jr. in next year's U.S. Senate race.

The Flyer reports, "Bryant said he expected current 9th District congressman Harold Ford Jr. to be the Democratic nominee and said Ford would be a “formidable” and heavily funded opponent. Apparently discounting what some Republicans see as baggage the Memphis congressman might carry into a race, Bryant added, “I’d be running against him, not the Ford family."

Welcome to the club Ed!
  • In the most recent quarter, Congressman Ford led all candidates vying for the U.S. Senate in fundraising. "U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., a Democrat from Memphis, led all candidates vying for the U.S. Senate in fundraising for the third quarter, bringing in $523,904.73, according to his campaign papers." --Ashland City Times, 10/15/05
  • According to The Hill, Harold Ford's candidacy is giving Republicans heartburn. "Tennessee, which has twice backed President Bush, is giving some Republicans heartburn, with the GOP Senate contenders attacking their opponents' conservative credentials while Rep. Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) out fundraises his Republican rivals and aggressively canvasses the state." --The Hill, 10/05/05
  • The Cook Political Report ranks TN US Senate race as only 1 of 4 toss-ups in the entire country: TN US Senate race is ranked a "toss-up" by the widely respected Charlie Cook Political Report. 10/28/05
  • Republicans fret over Ford's potential like no other: "Despite it all, Republicans fret over Ford's potential like no other Democrat seeking the seat being vacated by Majority Leader Bill Frist."--AP, 06/12/05
  • Top Republican advisor says "it's going to take a significant amount of resources to keep Senator Frist's seat from falling in Democratic hands": Sonny Scott, an adviser to Mr. Bryant, said Rep. Ford has an impressive national spotlight and will be well funded in the race. "It'll be a huge race for Republicans," he said. "It's going to take a significant amount of resources to keep Senator Frist's seat from falling in Democratic hands."--Chattanooga Times Free Press, 07/25/05
  • This week top Republican strategist Frank Luntz stated that if Harold Ford Jr. was a leader in the Democratic Party, the party would be heading towards a majority because Ford understands that you have to stand for something. "Truth is, if they had Rahm Emanuel [of Illinois] or Harold Ford [of Tennessee], they would be heading towards, in the direction of, a majority because the two of them understand that you have to stand for something - [that] you cannot win just by being negative." --Christian Science Monitor, 10/26/05
  • Conservative-leaning newspaper "The Washington Times" called Harold Ford Jr. "the kind of Democrat that Republicans should fear": "A young, black politician with deep Tennessee roots, Mr. Ford is the kind of Democrat that Republicans should fear. In a caucus that lacks both ideas and energy, he is full of both. --Washington Times, 11/12/02
  • Ford's message plays well among a wide range of voters: "Ford's young, handsome, well-spoken and can get a crowd going. He's carefully positioned himself as a moderate Democrat, skilled at pitching a conservative-leaning message many think could play well among a range of voters... He's also spoken out strongly in support of the military's effort in Iraq, and sided with "Blue Dog" Democrats on reducing the federal deficit." --AP, 06/12/05
  • Moderate record and demonstrated ability to appeal to votes across racial lines: "Ford, who is black, has compiled a moderate record and demonstrated an ability to appeal to votes across racial lines -- the latter of which will be key in a state whose population is less than 17 percent black." --National Journal's Congress Daily, 08/05/05
  • Conservative on-line publication says the Tennessee US Senate seat is "very real risk of Republican loss", "And thus, a Senate seat that should be safely red has now become an absolute toss-up, with a very real risk of Republican loss." --, 08/31/05"
  • Harold Ford Junior, a congressman from Memphis regarded as one of the Democrats' few bright hopes in the South" --The Economist, 06/04/05

I am glad that Ed concedes that Congressman Ford will be a tough opponent in this race.

Because, honestly, if he did not, he would be in serious denial of reality.

The more Ford travels the state and the more people hear his solutions-oriented approach to things, the more support he gains. This is demonstrated in recent polling and the fact that he came in first among all candidate in third quarter fundraising.

And as shown above, the experts also realize Harold Ford Jr. is for real.

Do I hear Senator Harold Ford Jr. anyone?