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Ford passes on DNC chairmanship
Nov 24, 2004 12:00 am
Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.'s future is apparently so bright, his staff must spend time dispelling rumors about his plans as well as actually making plans.
Already in the post-Kerry world for the national Democratic Party, the young Congressman from Memphis has been mentioned as a 2008 White House possibility for his party.
On a more believable level, Ford's name has also been bandied about as a likely U.S. Senate candidate in 2006 and a potential Democratic National Committee chair for 2005.
Ford has made several forays into the national political scene, unsuccessfully challenging House Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi last year for that post as well as working as the national co-chairman of the Kerry campaign this year.
However, Ford's Chief of Staff Mark Schuermann said Friday Ford has no plans to pursue the DNC chairmanship.
Schuermann did express some preferences Ford would have regarding a DNC chair, a return to Ford's call for a more moderate Democratic Party rather than the leadership and political direction of, say, Pelosi from California.
"The Congressman's only interest there is that we have someone in that position from the South or the Midwest, someone with those kinds of values," Schuermann said. "He is flattered, but right now his interests are elsewhere."
And while Schuermann would not say, elsewhere is most likely Tennessee's 2006 Senate race, and open seat should Senate Majority Leader Bill First make good on his pledge to leave the Senate after two terms.
Ford's future is also likely tied to the political whimsy of Gov. Phil Bredesen.
Bredesen, a popular conservative Democratic governor of a Red State, is already making short lists for 2008's White House race. He is also one of the few sitting Democrats in a Red State with an open Senate seat who could help Democrats attempt to regain control of the Senate, or at least cut into the GOP margin.
However, the Democratic bench in Tennessee is a little shallow at present. There will be no messy primary, and Ford and Bredesen will decide well in advance who will run for the state's open Senate seat.