"Apparently not everyone in the room at the Stonewall Democratic Club last night was anti-Harold Ford Jr.
Christopher Lynn, a past Stonewall president and founding member who invited Ford to address the club after a chance encounter with the former Tennessee congressman on the Amtrak to Albany, told me this afternoon that he thought Ford "had nothing to lose" by facing a hostile crowd head-on, and ultimately acquitted himself well.
"He held his own; he was polite and informed and charming," Lynn said. "I told him, 'Other than me, I can't think of anyone else who's going to give you a fair reception. That's the nature of politics - especially in Manhattan. But I was happy for the experience. I thought it was good."Lynn said he's not formally working for Ford, who has pledged to make a decision about whether to primary Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand by the end of the weekend. Lynn sounded very much like a longtime Ford supporter, but he insisted he hadn't met the man before the two of them sat together on the train.
"I said, 'Wow. I'm a little bit disappointed. When you came and sat down, for a second I thought you were Derek Jeter's older brother,'" Lynn recalled of that meeting. "He laughed."Lynn expressed surprise about the strength of support Gillibrand is enjoying among the Stonewall crowd.
"...What I like about him is that he doesn't fudge it. He doesn't bullshit when you talk about certain issues. He doesn't try to hide or dress it up."
"She's kind of new to this," he said. "...She sort of came from one perspective and changed to the other. That's fine. That's fine. But I didn't expect she would have that kind of support...It's not her, I believe, it's something else. And I think anything she can do, he can do better."Lynn said he felt much the same way about Ford as he did upon first meeting former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, (Lynn served as Taxi and Limousine commissioner in the Giuliani administration). This comparison has nothing to do with ideology, Lynn stressed, and everything to do with the way these two "look you in the eye and answer stuff directly."'