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When Hillary Clinton moved to New York to run for Senate, she kicked off a "listening tour" in which she held town-hall-style meetings in every single county in the state. She may have been a carpetbagger, but she proved she wanted the job by getting to know every last corner of her state, even the forgotten ones.

Then there's Harold Ford.

Asked whether he had visited all five boroughs, he mentioned taking a helicopter ride across the city with fellow executives, at the invitation of Raymond W. Kelly, New York City’s police commissioner. “The only place I have not spent considerable time is Staten Island,” he said, adding that “I landed there in the helicopter, so I can say yes.”

As one blogger put it:

Seriously?! Could he not have taken the time to at least visit the five boroughs of the city he’s lived in for the past three years before launching his campaign?! There are 9 months left before the primary, and I prefer to not even know about his familiarity with the rest of the state given his inability to get out of Manhattan.

Perhaps if he got out of Manhattan, he might realize that his Richie Rich schtick might not play that well outside of that bubble.

His statement about visiting New York via helicopter is stunning not only because it reveals how little he has taken the time to explore the constituents he is suddenly so committed to representing, but also because Ford appears completely oblivious to the fact that he might not want to make his entire life story about how much he belongs in the New York upper-class elite. It says something about his politics that Ford chooses to highlight that he “takes the subway only occasionally in the winter, to avoid the cold when he cannot hail a cab,” that taxis are his almost exclusive mode of transportation, that he “has breakfast most mornings at the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue.” What I found particularly depressing is the following sentence: “Mr. Ford said he had been emboldened by the response he had received from the public in recent days. Everyone — from the cabdrivers who shuttle him around the city to the executives with whom he rubs elbows on Wall Street — has urged him to run, he said.” How much more oblivious can one be to the fact that one lives in a bubble, with no apparent awareness as to what it reveals that the main interactions with members of lower-classes he can think of involves his being driven around?

That's why this race will be so fun.

Update: jerseyite, from the comments:

This can't be serious

No way can it be serious.

I mean, what did his maid say about him running? Or his doorman? Or the guy that dispensed soap in his hands in the Regency bathroom?

I need to know.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:16 AM PST.

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