Ford Bid "Puzzled Many"

----- New York Daily News' Bazinet

reports, The "upstart" Harold Ford Jr. (D-9th , TN)

"refused to abandon his uphill bid" for Min. Leader, accusing the

"seasoned" Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of the "tired, failed

politics" that "drove the party down." Ford: "If you

believe that the same old, tired, failed politics of the Democratic caucus is a

direction we ought to travel, then clearly Nancy's your choice." Ford said

"he believes he can woo some" Pelosi backers "with his centrist

policies." Ford is "also is hoping to pick up support" from

Frost backers (11/11). Ford has "offered himself up as a new generation of

leadership with a more moderate outlook than Pelosi." However,

"observers said he had no chance of winning" (Copley, 11/9).

----- The entry of Ford "puzzled many observers

who quickly dismissed his chances." Outgoing Min. Leader Dick Gephardt

spokesperson Kori Benards: "The fact that [Martin Frost

(D-TX)] dropped out of the race should indicate to Harold Ford that he doesn't

have much of a chance to beat Ms. Pelosi." One Dem aide: "Harold Ford

is going to get creamed" (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/9).

----- Meanwhile, Ford on 11/10 "insisted":

"The race is not over." Ford "has not released a list" of

supporters-- "and may not, but he is claiming the support of all

four" TN Dems, "plus pockets of support elsewhere," including

Reps. Brad Carson (D-OK 02), Lacy Clay (D-MO 01), Dennis Moore

(D-KS 03), and Adam Smith (D-WA 09). Rep. John Tanner (D-TN 08):

"Harold brings not only a new generation of leadership, but a message that

resonates and will resonate with people in their everyday lives."

Meanwhile, Clay disputed comments by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI 14) that

the Dem caucus "will not support Ford because he voted for the resolution

to authorize force with Iraq" (Brosnan, Memphis Commercial

Appeal, 11/11).

------ Time's M. Carlson: "His

attempt will go nowhere. But, you know, it's good to have young talent coming

forward" ("Capital Gang," CNN, 11/9).

----- CNN's Snow: "I had a lot of

Democrats say some not so kind things to me this week about Harold Ford, Jr.,

that he just wants to -- you know, he's a media monger, he just wants to get

his face out there. He made his announcement on Don Imus's show, for Pete's

sake" ("Saturday Edition," 11/9).

----- Ex-Clinton adviser Lanny Davis: "I'm

an unapologetic progressive Democrat, but I think we need a new voice. And

Harold Ford is one of the most exciting new voices our party has, if not as

minority leader, he certainly should be out there speaking on our behalf and

perhaps as head of our party some day. But now I think Harold Ford is a new

face, a new voice that ought to be given serious consideration by the House

Democratic caucus."

----- More Davis: "Let me

just say that Congressman Ford believes that many of the people who are

publicly committed to my old friend Nancy Pelosi now are reevaluating that they

have an alternative. It doesn't mean that they've changed their minds, but they

shouldn't necessarily be counted as inevitable" ("Late Edition,"

CNN, 11/10).

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