The point is that Ford would have a great shot in the general election, and knows it. New York is so reliably blue, even a reddish Democrat need not don a camo baseball cap to be competitive. Which means Ford's bigger obstacle to office is Gillibrand in the primary. And yet surely Ford calculates that, because she attained office via appointment and hasn't had sufficient time since then to introduce herself to everyone in what is still the nation's third most populous state, Gillibrand is potentially quite vulnerable.
Gillibrand hasn't been perfect, but she's darn good. Liberals in New York and Washington undoubtedly prefer that she be less of a Blue Dog and more of a bull dog. But, long term, I think she'll make a fine senator, both back home in the state where I grew up as well as in committee and on the floor of the chamber. She also deserves special dispensation if only for one reason: She took out one of the slimiest Republicans in Congress, former Rep. John Sweeney.
I really like Harold Ford, Jr... but I'm not sure this is the place for him.