Friday, January 22, 2010


I meant to point out yesterday that Harold Ford Jr. had an op-ed in the New York Daily News in which he tried to attack soon-to-be-opponent Kirsten Gillebrand using rhetoric shameless cribbed from Scott Brown:

The defeat of Martha Coakley in Massachusetts represents the latest rejection of a governing style that takes the taxpayers for granted and puts partisan, insider politics ahead of everything else.

Put simply, the defining moment in the Massachusetts Senate campaign was during the final debate when David Gergen asked Scott Brown whether he would be willing to "sit in Teddy Kennedy's seat" and block the passage of health care reform for another 15 years.

Brown responded, rightly, that "it's not the Kennedys' seat ... it's the people's seat."

And while I disagree with Brown about most issues of public policy, I absolutely agree that a United States senator has to put the people first when making decisions.

I have made it very clear that if I run for the U.S. Senate, and if I am fortunate enough to be elected, I will be an independent Democrat who puts the people of New York before the politicians in Albany and Washington.

All the time. Every time....

"Independent Democrat" is, obviously, the self-applied label that's made Joe Lieberman such a beloved figure in this region of the country (that's sarcasm, folks) -- but it's also a nod to Brown who branded himself an "independent voice" about as often as he invoked his truck.

In the Daily News piece, Ford sounds suspiciously like Brown on health care:

Health reform remains important. But in the wake of this week's election, the legislation should be narrowed to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting conditions, enact responsible tort reform and provide health coverage to all children. And states must have more input into how health coverage is expanded.

And while Ford supports some sort of financial reform, he adds:

But [Congress] must also take great care not to harm the great engine of New York's economy.

We know what he means by that from his earlier New York Times interview:

I think immediately, we need to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent. We need to make clear that dividends and capital-gains taxes not go up -- we do not want to see decisions made that are rash.

Sounds a bit like ... um ... Michelle Bachmann:

The Minnesotan detailed a list of fiscal changes: cutting the effective income tax rate to 22 percent, dashing capital gains taxes and eliminating the estate tax will stimulate the economy plenty, she said....

Oh yeah -- Ford's definitely going to start working teabags into this campaign the second he either wins the Democratic nomination or qualifies for the ballot as an independent.

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