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Harold Ford on Principles & Values

Former Democratic Representative (TN-9, 1997-2007)


Attended law school but failed bar exam due to campaigning

Q: I want to clarify some misconceptions I’ve seen in the media. Did you pass the bar exam, and do you consider yourself a lawyer?

FORD: I went to a great law school, the University of Michigan. But even going to a great law school doesn’t guarantee that you can pass the bar exam. I took it one time, and I didn’t pass. I took it right after I graduated from law school, when I was first running for Congress and I had just gotten elected. I learned an important lesson--you got to study for that thing.

Source: 2006 TN Senate debate, at University of Chattanooga Oct 10, 2006

Campaign should be about ideas, not family political machine

CORKER: Could you explain how you serve on the Committee regulating Fannie Mae, and within 60 days your dad became the registered lobbyist for Fannie Mae, to lobby you in Washington on that Committee?

FORD: Attacking my father has no place in this campaign. You call my family a political machine -- I wonder if you feel the same about the Bush family. My father is too decent of a person to do any of the things that my opponent claims. I didn’t think my opponent could stoop any lower into the gutter -- but it looks as if rock bottom hasn’t been hit yet. My dad nor any member of my family has never lobbied me, nor would I allow them to. I work for the people of my district. Leave my family out of this -- this is between you and I, your ideas and your platform versus mine.

CORKER: I’ve never said a disparaging word; I’ve just pointed out the relationship.

Source: 2006 TN Senate debate, at Univ. of Chattanooga, x-ref Corker Oct 10, 2006

This race is about whether we want a rubber stamp for Bush

This race for the Senate is about whether we want a US Senator who will essentially be a rubber stamp for what has happened over the last six years. Whether it be the minimum wage, whether it be stay-the-course in Iraq, whether it be healthcare, or even with accountability in Washington. If you believe America is better than what they have given us in the last six years, I’m asking for your vote.
Source: 2006 TN Senate debate, at University of Chattanooga Oct 10, 2006

Religious affiliation: Baptist.

Ford : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

What’s an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH1 on Nov 7, 2000

Member of the "Blue Dog" Coalition of conservative Democrats.

Ford is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition:

The 32 conservative and moderate Democrats in the Blue Dog Coalition hail from every region of the country, although the group acknowledges some southern ancestry which accounts for the group’s nickname. Taken from the South’s longtime description of a party loyalist as one who would vote for a yellow dog if it were on the ballot as a Democrat, the “Blue Dog” moniker was taken by members of The Coalition because their moderate-to-conservative-views had been “choked blue” by their party in the years leading up to the 1994 election.

The Coalition was formed in the 104th Congress as a common sense, bridge-building voice. Since then, the Blue Dogs have successfully injected a moderate viewpoint into the Democratic Caucus. The continuing political success of “Blue Pups” in the 1998 and 2000 elections points to the public’s approval of the centrist, fiscally responsible message represented by The Coalition.

The Coalition has been particularly active on fiscal issues, relentlessly pursuing a balanced budget and then protecting that achievement from politically popular “raids” on the budget.

The Coalition’s proposals on welfare reforms served as middle-ground markers which laid the foundation for the bipartisanship necessary to bring about fundamental reforms, and helped set into law policies reflecting the “common sense, conservative compassion” so often attached to the group’s efforts.

In the 107th Congress, the Coalition intends to continue to make a difference in Congress by forging middle-ground, bipartisan answers to the current challenges facing the Country. A top priority will be to finish the job of truly balancing the budget without counting the Social Security trust funds. Other early efforts will include campaign finance reform, strengthening Social Security, and health care reform. The group also expects to be involved in education, regulatory reform, taxes, defense and veterans affairs.

Source: Blue Dog Coalition web site 00-BDC0 on Nov 7, 2000

Supports Hyde Park Declaration of "Third Way" centrism.

Ford adopted the manifesto, "A New Politics for a New America":

As New Democrats, we believe in a Third Way that rejects the old left-right debate and affirms America’s basic bargain: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and community of all.