Thursday, March 23, 2006

Republicans' early attacks on Ford a sign of "GOP jitters" over the U.S. Senate race

This week's issue of Newsweek features an article by Jonathan Darman with a headline that pretty much sums up where things stand in the race to replace U.S. Bill Frist.
The headline (and subhead)read: "The Senate: Digging For Dirt In Dixie - One sign of the GOP jitters: Republicans are already going negative on a black candidate running in Tennessee."
The story focuses on the fact that the GOP has - in unprecedented fashion - pushed up their standard timeline for going negative with the creation and promotion of a negative web site attacking democratic candidate Harold Ford, Jr. Darman writes that "the very existence of the site reveals something about the Republicans: they are so worried about Ford's candidacy they're going negative five months before the primary."
Darmon adds that with Ford's moderate record and star appeal, "they (the GOP) have reason for concern."

9 Comments:

Blogger Wintermute said...

"Star appeal"?

8:04 PM  
Blogger imissbill said...

I can only guess that wintermute has never met HFJ. If he had, perhaps he wouldn't question his undeniable star appeal. I've been "talked at", preached to, and pandered to by politicians, but HFJ listens. Rare quality. I enjoy his reasoned perspective on Washington politics and respect his ideas. I can't wait to see what he will accomplish as Tennessee's next senator.

5:45 AM  
Blogger imissbill said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:45 AM  
Blogger imissbill said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Sean Braisted said...

I don't think Harold Ford's name recognition is extremely high outside of Memphis, and possibly Nashville. So it makes sense that the GOP would want the voter's first impression of Ford to be that he is similar to Uncle John. The "out of touch" line of attack seemed to work well against Al Gore in 2000, seems like a bit of a repeat.

8:01 AM  
Blogger Polly Hill said...

You can only kick a man in the ass when he's standing in front of you. If Ford didn't stir the fear factor in the GOP, they wouldn't bother with the attacks.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Bill Hobbs said...

Considering how easy it is to toss up a website, I'd hardly consider the appearance of FancyFord.com to be a sign of "GOP jitters."

If they were spending big bucks to run ads against him now, yeah, I'd agree with the "jitters" concept, but all they did was spend about $15 bucks to register a domain name and a few hundred to design and built the site.

Some young staffer probably did the whole thing in an afternoon.

My only regret is they didn't include the fact that Ford called the Kelo decision - which empowers government to take your house for any reason it deems fit - a "positive" decision.

I care less about Ford's penchant for fine hotels and Playboy bunnies than I do his belief that government ought to be able to take your house for any reason it deems fit.

1:55 PM  
Blogger tennessee political pulse said...

Hobbs:
Buzz. Wrong answer, but thanks for playing.
You know as well as I do that there was much more going into this negative site that what made its way on to our computer screens. I agree with your assessment that it was cheesy and amateurish in message and delivery, but the RNC and the NRSC (national GOP) put $$ and thought into an internet buy and site marketing strategy execution to support it.
From where I sit as a grizzled political vet, it's obvious to me why they would bother so damn early in the race - 1) to draw attention away from the nasty contested GOP primary race that spotlights a damaging struggle for the very heart and soul of the GOP; and 2) to try to slow down Ford's $$ and grass roots momentum.
Sadly for the GOP, it has accomplished neither.

4:54 AM  
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12:52 PM  

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