I’m convinced. Someone has put roots on the Secretary of Commerce and Health and Human Services positions. First Gov. Bill Richardson fumbled his way out the door. The Daschle made a dash after he proved he couldn’t manage to pay proper taxes on a personal driver. Then the Republican Judd Gregg pulled the ol’ “I wanted it until I had it and now I don’t want it no mo'” shuffle.
And so now, it’s come to this: NBC’s Chuck Todd thinks Obama should toss Blue Dog Democrat, Tennessee native-by-the-way-of-Merrill Lynch, professional playboy pretty boy Harold Ford Jr. a bone.
He didn’t get to be senator from Tennessee. He probably won’t get to be governor. He probably won’t get to be president either. (At least not any time soon.) Fellow playboy, New York Gov. David Paterson didn’t pick him for Hillary Clinton’s senate seat (not that he was ever that high up in the running), but Todd really thinks this could happen for Ford.
Could Ford be … the last man standing?
Harold Ford Jr. for Commerce Secretary? It’s something a few Democrats around town are pushing and, according to sources, the idea of appointing the former Tennessee Congressman is being given serious thought by folks high up in the Obama administration.
On paper, Ford checks a lot of boxes for a an easy-to-confirm nominee for this post: He’s a pro-business Democrat (remember, this is Commerce Secretary so the job is to be a promoter of business); he’s a former member of the Congressional Black Caucus (you’ll recall this whole kerfuffle over control of the census under a Judd Gregg-led Commerce Dept. was started by complaints from the CBC); and he’s a practiced spokesperson on TV (the Geithner rollout this week is a reminder that the administration doesn’t have enough solid media savvy members of his team who can sell the administration’s policies.).
There is one, potential, gigantic problem: Ford’s current place of employment — Merrill Lynch. Given the current views of Wall Street, Ford’s nomination could come under immediate fire and he’d have to disclose exactly what his job was with ML etc. and whether he was one of the 700 million dollar bonus recipients before Merrill completed its sale to Bank of America in late 2008.
The folks at The New Republic’s The Plank think, hey … it could happen! The job is barely worth shit now with all the flame outs. Ford hasn’t done anything remotely as embarrassing as Daschle or Richardson. Why not Mr. Light Brown?
Commerce Secretary was already a second-tier cabinet position. After Bill Richardson and Judd Gregg’s withdrawals, it’s got even less cachet. So why am I not surprised that, per NBC’s Chuck Todd (via Politico Playbook), former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr is a leading candidate?
Last I’d heard, Ford was considering a run for Tennessee Governor in 2010. That was an exciting prospect (along with Alabama’s Artur Davis, Ford would be the second African-American gubernatorial candidate in a Southern state in 2010), but, to me at least, also an unlikely one. Yes, Ford came close to winning statewide in 2006 when he ran for the U.S. Senate. But, as soon as he lost that race, he decamped to New York to work for Merrill Lynch (and to blather for MSNBC). Ford, who owed his Memphis Congressional seat to this father (who held it before him), just didn’t seem to have deep enough roots in Tennessee to not look like a guy who only showed his face in the state when he wanted to run for office.
Still, it was clear the guy still badly wants to be in the mix. So badly, it seems, that he’s willing to become the third choice for a second-tier job.
(Source: The Plank, New Republic)
Now, I’d like Ford to get this job for purely selfish reasons: I enjoy making fun of the man.
Second to Mitt Romney, nothing brings me more joy that the idea of writing posts about Ford’s pretty boy status, enjoying the flaming comments of rage from Ford haters (you know who you are!), as well as delighting in the various ironies of Ford — who backed Hillary Clinton for prez — and how is now doing what I always said he would do: placing lips to Obama ass and puckering up for a job, any job, in this administration.
I don’t think Ford would do anything to jeopardize an administration he likely wants to join. Once the dust settles on the convention floor and Obama is the nominee it will become obvious what all the fund-raising was for. Ford is a pure politician. He may never make it to the senate or be governor of Tennessee, but he can ride the Obama wave to bigger and better things once he’s done playing pretty, pretty pundit with the networks. There is still political life left in Ford.
He’s not going to be so harsh to alienate himself from what could be his political future. There are still trails left for him to blaze.
(Source: The Black Snob)
From Roland Burris to Brandy Norwood, Ford just wants to be down … badly … with what No. 44 is going through.
All I am saying is … give Ford a chance. Dude can’t do much worse. Todd reported that so far Ford seems to be on the up and up. He hasn’t taken any huge bonuses (that we know of) from Merrill Lynch that could make him look bad. And like my boy Mittens, his lies are so sweet they’re diabetes inducing. He can DO THIS MAN! He can bat his little eyes into a confirmation. That governor of Tennessee gig has about as much chance as of happening as Sir Charles Barkley’s long-held fantasy of being governor of Alabama.
It ain’t happening, but commerce secretary? That’s doable.
Now, Ford still runs the risk of getting high off his own power supply (with what little juice comes with Commerce Secy., but believe me, it would be enough for Ford to get his arrogant swagger on). And getting high on your own supply often leads to stupidity. Worse case scenario: Ford might get distracted by some cash or some ass. But, isn’t that almost EVERY politician’s weakness? If we had to negate people based on their love of money, power and the inability to keep it in the pants Capitol Hill would be vacant.
Either way, I can always use some more high falutin’, deep pocket, “Our Kind of People” to stalk for the blog. I already have the exploits of professional shot callers Valerie Jarrett and Desiree Rogers. I could use one worthless pretty boy to lay around and mock.
Could you get over your Ford hate (if you suffer from Ford hate) to go for “The Pretty” for commerce secretary? What’s the worst that could happen? The seat’s already cursed. Ford is sort of cursed with the whole “I married a white woman and a lot of black people will probably never get over that shizz.” I think the double curse would actually negate everything. He’d start back at zero.
Just stay away from ass and cash, Junior! I want to mock you in a good-hearted way. No hateration up in this dancerie.