A.C. KLEINHEIDER on those who would play the race card on a Harold Ford defeat:

Yes, Harold Ford would be the first black senator from this state since Reconstruction.

How many black senators have there been total elected in this county? Do you know?

There’s only one now — Barack Obama. He was victorious against another African American, a conservative ideologue carpetbagger who was essentially a pinch hitter for disgraced candidate, Jack Ryan. Obama may be a fine Senator but his electoral achievement was no great feat.

Before Obama?


There have been five black U.S. Senators in this country. Two were appointed. So, if Tennessee is racist for not having electing a black senator so is every fudging state in the Union save Massachusetts and Illinois.

The national media will ignore this, of course.

Of course. But if Ford loses, I think it will be because he overplayed his hand. I was talking to a trainer at my gym the other day who’s very Christian — Church of the Nazarene, and constrained in her dating life by the need to find a boyfriend who loves Jesus as much as she does. But she was totally turned off by the church commercial.

And yesterday I heard a negative radio ad about Bob Corker, saying that he wasn’t a true conservative and concluding that “He’s not one of us.” Wow, I thought — has the Tennessee Conservative Union come out against Corker? But then came Harold Ford’s voice, telling me that he had approved that message. Now Ford can run plausibly as a fairly conservative Democrat, but he’s not really credible enough as a conservative to run that kind of ad. My reaction was along the lines of “good grief, what a stretch,” and I suspect most other listeners thought the same.

Meanwhile, if Michael Steele loses, will it be proof that Marylanders are racist? Of course not — he’s a Republican!

UPDATE: More trying too hard: The camo cap just doesn’t fit.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Democratic blogger Sean Braisted comments:

As for Ford and Corker…unless all the likely voter models created by pollsters are wrong, Ford is going to lose. Some Liberals will say it was “racism” that did him in, but I think Ford was his own best friend and worst enemy. He tried the ultra-religious angle, which might have worked, had it not been for the fact that he is a 36 year old Single man who you know gets a lot of action. Sorry, preaching the gospel about Marriage and Family works a lot better if you have both of those. For a single man who like “Football and Girls” to go out and put the 10 Commandments on his cards, film ads in church, and use God’s name in every other sentence; it just comes off as disingenuous.

Overplayed, as I said.