Sunday, October 08, 2006

Elizabeth Dole and the Cheap Shot

We've been following the Harold Ford v. Bob Corker senate race in Tennessee because

a. It's happening next door, and shouldn't we take an interest in whether our neighbor puts in a garden or a weed patch?
b. If Ford wins, he'll be the first African-American elected to the Senate from the South (which would have been Harvey Gantt's distinction in 1990, if he'd beaten Jesse Helms). And
c. Because Ford's early TV spots, in which he was defining himself before Corker's attacks had time to stick, are textbook examples of how Democrats ought to run ... aggressively.

We watched the debate between Ford & Corker live last night on C-SPAN, and though I'm pulling for Ford despite many of his troubling votes in the House of Perps, I thought he didn't come off that well. He acted like he might jump out of his skin at any moment. He was a cathedral of twitches and other nervous mannerisms, including a mile-a-minute vocal delivery that contrasted poorly to Corker's slow, steady, seemingly straight-forward manner of speaking. I thought Ford seemed shifty and evasive by comparison.

I don't think he's going to beat Corker, despite his towering physical height.

I know the polls say Ford is slightly ahead right now. But I learned in the 1990 Gantt race against Helms that in the South, when a black man's in the race, people don't tell the truth. Gantt was AHEAD of Helms in the polls going into election day in 1990, and he lost by -- what? -- six percentage points, is my memory. If Ford were ahead by double digits right now, I'd take some comfort. But a two-point lead? It ain't big enough.

And if Elizabeth Dole and the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee continue those nasty nasty personal attacks against Ford -- which they will, because they've got more money than God and absolutely no scruples -- then Ford is going to be beaten to a pulp. They're already reminding those white Reagan Democrats in Tennessee that Ford's a black man, which we knew they would ... with the less-than-sly "he parties like a dawg" ads they've got running approximately every six minutes on Channel 11 out of Bristol. "Ain't it awful?" the ad suggests: "A BLACK MAN partying with Playboy bunnies!"

"New South" my Aunt Fanny!

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