Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) isn't going without some parting shots.
In a New York Times op-ed explaining his decision not to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in a primary, Ford says Democratic leaders just don't get it:
When it was reported two months ago that I was thinking seriously
about running for the United States Senate from New York, Democratic
Party insiders started their own campaign to bully me out of the race —
just as they had done with Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Steve
Israel and others.
But as I traveled around New York, I began to understand why the
party bosses felt the need to use such heavy-handed tactics: They’re
nervous. New Yorkers are clamoring for change. Our political system —
so bogged down in partisan fighting — is sapping the morale of New
Yorkers and preventing government at every level from fulfilling its
The cruel twist, of course, is that the party bosses who tried to
intimidate me so that I wouldn’t even think about running against
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who had been appointed to the seat by Gov.
David A. Paterson, are the same people responsible for putting
Democratic control of the Senate at risk.
Voting for health care legislation that imposes billions in new
taxes on New Yorkers and restricts federal financing for abortions is
not good for the people of this state. Voting against critical funds
necessary to ensure the survival of the financial services industry —
the economic backbone of this state — is not good for the people of New
Yet the party has been too slow to change. The effects of its lack
of flexibility have been clear in a series of worrisome political
events: Ted Kennedy’s “safe” Senate seat was lost to a Republican; Evan
Bayh of Indiana and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota announced they weren’t
running for re-election; Senate seats held by Democrats in Wisconsin
and Delaware now seem to be in jeopardy; New York’s state government
faces even more controversy and challenge.