Nashville Post Politics: What Does Her Race Have To Do With It?

Nashville Post Politics

What Does Her Race Have To Do With It?

Harold Ford, Jr. takes John McCain to task for not denouncing an ad from his 2006 Senate Race:

While I am disappointed in McCain’s about-face, I am not surprised. When I ran for the Senate in 2006, my opponent, Bob Corker, also found himself trailing in the October polls. His campaign and the Republican National Committee launched a series of false and vicious character attack ads, including the infamous “call me” ad, in which a scantily clad white woman looked at the camera and said, “Harold, call me.”

Every major news organization and independent ad-checking group ruled the ad a smear and deemed it way over the line. But that didn’t stop John McCain from coming to Tennessee and campaigning for my opponent while the “call me” ad and other smears were broadcast across the state. Not once did McCain speak out against that ad as he did about the smear against John Kerry. In fact, the first manager he hired for his 2008 presidential campaign was Terry Nelson, the person who produced the “call me” ad.

What exactly is the point of inserting the word “white” in the above sentence? Is Harold Ford suggesting that the ad contained some sort of racial code?

Because back in the day, Ford himself said he didn’t think “race had anything to do with that ad.”

The language in an op/ed like this one is very carefully chosen and reviewed. Can we really pretend to assume that the word “white” was just a descriptive adjective choice? Or must we conclude thatFord was trying to send the message that he now agrees with the popular media myth about the “Call Me” ad?

Which is it? Was the ad racial code or not?

UPDATE: From just this week:

As Harold Ford Jr. told me in Nashville: “If Barack were not African-American, they’d be doing this.”

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