Village Democrats appear to be promoting former Tennessee Congressman and current DLC Chair Harold Ford Jr to be Barack Obama’s third choice for a Commerce Secretary.

Here’s Chuck Todd, newly minted ambitious Village stenographer:

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 adminis 

Here’s Jack & Jill Politics on the man they call The Dark Sith:

Mr. President, I know I don’t need to tell you this. I know you’re smart enough to know that appointing Harold Ford, Jr. to ANYTHING is a mistake. He is a snake that can’t be trusted. There are enough Black folk who were actually loyal and supportive of you that you could nominate – HERE IS A POST GIVING YOU A LIST – than for you to nominate someone who had nothing good to say about you, and repeatedly- throughout the ENTIRE ELECTION SEASON – did nothing but try and undermine you at every turn. You loved your grandmother; he LIED on his for votes.

Reward those that supported YOU, Mr. President. Harold Ford, Jr. would never be YOUR choice. You could NEVER doubt that he’d be trying to undermine you at every turn. While I and others would welcome an African-American in the position of Secretary of Commerce, I’d rather someone honest, than a complete, untrustworthy snake like Ford. Besides the ‘character’ question, how is he remotely qualified?

Here’s Jackson Baker in the Memphis Flyer:

Attentive Flyer readers will observe that we took note of that very concern in this space yesterday, Friday, February 13 ("Is Harold Ford Jr. a Merrill Lynch Bonus Baby"), some hours before Todd’s own post on the MSNBC site. Though several readers – some friendly, some not – interpreted our post as an "attack" on Ford, it was nothing of the kind. Our article merely raised the same necessary conjecture as would Todd subsequently on the site of one of Ford’s current employers, MSNBC.

I might add, parenthetically, that I personally do not find it particularly amiss that the talented Mr. Ford might have benefited from a year-end bonus tendered by yet another employer, Merrill Lynch. Nor did any of the persons friendly to him whom I consulted for my most recent article, all of whom assumed that Ford, as one of the brokerage’s prize spokespersons, would have been so rewarded, along with the nearly 700 other bonus recipients.

Yet I fully understand that many would feel otherwise: that Ford — should he have accepted such a bonus — would, in effect, have allowed himself to profit from an excessive corporate payout that, as New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo suggests, might indirectly have been funded by the taxpayers themselves via last fall’s controversial federal bailout.

Chuck Todd’s Update:

***UPDATE: Ford’s folks tell me that he never received a bonus in his time at Merrill Lynch nor was he involved in developing or selling anything having to do with mortgage securities. Ford’s job was simply business development and advising clients on domestic or int’l issues. Bottom line: no one close to Ford believes he has a Merrill problem.


Oh Please No

Not Harold Ford. Please.


Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge