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Harold Ford of Tennessee, Merrill Lynch, the DLC, NBC and the Park Avenue Regency's campaign against the excellent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand came into closer focus yesterday -- he's anti-Obama, and pretty nasty about it.

Ford, via his LIEberman flack Tammy "Bite me" Sun attacked Gillibrand for having Obama campaign manager David Plouffe appear at a breakfast fund-raiser Monday.

Ford/Sun's vituperative language and habitual serial lying are in full display, below.

Let's explicate the Ford/Sun mud, a sentence or so at a time.

Here's how it starts:

Washington's party bosses have been telling the unelected tobacco lawyer how to vote against New York's interests since she was appointed by Governor Paterson, so it's no surprise they're coming now to reward her for putting Washington before New York time and again.

"Washington's party bosses" obviously include President Obama, who is a strong Gillibrand supporter, as she has been a strong supporter of his programs in the Senate.

So, in the first three words, Ford signals that he would be, if elected, the anti-Obama Senator from New York.

Next, Ford/Sun refer to Senator Gillibrand as "the unelected tobacco lawyer."

Gillibrand was once an associate at a Manhattan law firm, assigned to work for a tobacco company client.

That was more than a decade ago, and six-plus years before she was elected to the House. And on every vote so far, in the House and the Senate, she was voted consistently against the tobacco industry's interests.

Ford did not do that in his 10 years in the House, representing part of a Southern tobacco state.

Next is the Big Ford/Sun Lie, that Gillibrand voted "against New York's interests."

Presumably, the liars are referring to Gillibrand's support of the better-than-nothing Senate HCR bill, which would have somewhat reduced federal support of NY's Medicaid program, had it become law.

They naturally ignore Gillibrand's support of the stimulus, which saved thousands of jobs in NY, and delivered a tax cut to millions of New Yorkers.

Gillibrand "putting Washington before New York time and again," whatever that means, rephrases the absurd Big Lie.

The next bit is more of the same, re-emphasizing that Ford would be "independent" of "party insiders" like President Obama:  

Just take one look at her voting record and you know right away the party insiders are going to do whatever they can to keep her -- and by definition themselves -- in office. If they only cared about results as much as they cared about power. So much for reform.

New York voters should indeed take a look at Gillibrand's Senate record, and compare it to Ford's House record.

And Ford/Sun get in another shot at Obama, as caring only about power, and not at all about results and reform.

The occasion of this press release rant is next:

Welcome to New York, Mr. Plouffe. The unelected tobacco apologist finally brought something back to New York from Washington. Unfortunately, it's only a fundraiser for herself.

Obama supports Gillibrand, Plouffe is an Obama guy, and Gillibrand has brought many billions back to NY.

The Ford/Sun press release finishes with a repetitive flourish:

She doesn't disclose her taxes; she votes to raise taxes on New York; she votes to kill New York jobs; and she hides behind Washington party bosses. It's no surprise that Washington's party bosses are here to defend her. She's their Senator, not ours.

On the taxes thing, Ford is making a big deal out of Gillibrand not disclosing her tax returns from the 20th century.

She has not and will not do so, though she has disclosed her tax returns since she was elected to the House.

Ford/Sun are pushing the tax "issue" because they have not been able to convincingly explain whether Ford paid NYS/NYC income taxes on his Merrill Lynch millions.

The way the two NYC tabloids, which have given Ford's campaign lots of free media, played this nasty press release is interesting.

At the Murdoch money-pit New York Post, Maggie Haberman posted the press release and a couple of sentences of her own at the paper's new Knickerbocker political blog.

At The Daily Politics blog at the Daily News, Liz Benjamin does a whole lot better, getting the Gillibrand campaign response into the story and providing a short, sharp fact-check on Ford's taxes "issue":

Of course, the "doesn't disclose her taxes" jab isn't entirely true. Gillibrand has disclosed her taxes since she was first elected in 2006, but didn't fully do so during her campaign against then-Rep. John Sweeney - a fact on which Ford has now slammed her repeatedly while also saying that's exactly the same approach he'll take.

The Gillibrand campaign response was also short and sharp:

With his constant attacks on President Obama's agenda, Harold Ford Jr. sounds more like Sarah Palin and the Republican spin machine than a New York Democrat who is proud of their President. Senator Gillibrand is proud to be working with the President to pass a jobs bill that will create new opportunities for workers and health care reform that will lower costs for everyone.

The Plouffe event went well, and he told NY1 afterwards:

Senator Gillibrand has been a great leader for New York.

We're tackling these tough issues like rebuilding the economy and energy and health care that are strengthening us for the long term and she's been a real leader.

So she is someone the President obviously supports and we'll do all we can to make sure she returns to the Senate.

Ford's real problem is that he has no supporters, outside of a few Manhattan multi-millionaires.

So he and his LIEberman flack nastily attack Gillibrand for having lots of real Democratic supporters, from President Obama on down to 58 county Democratic chairmen.

If Ford dislikes national and state Democratic leadership so much, he should consider running in the Republican Senate primary, where he would have a much better chance of getting on the November ballot.

Originally posted to devtob on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 08:06 AM PST.

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