Tennessee's Horny Ford

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anti-Ford ad.jpg

Maybe I'm racially insensitive, but I don't get the uproar over the ad in which a hot chick says she met Harold E. Ford, the Tennessee Democrat running for the U.S. Senate, at a Playboy party and asks him to call her. A Vanderbilt expert on political advertising says it "makes the Willie Horton ad look like child's play." Really? It's worse for voters to think that beautiful women want to have sex with you that it is for them to believe that you let a dangerous criminal out of prison to commit rape and murder? I think Michael Dukakis would disagree. He could have benefited from this sort of slander, if anyone would have believed it.

I know, I know: Ford is black, and the actress in the commercial is white, so obviously the folks who produced the spot were targeting Tennesseeans enlightened enough to vote for a black Senate candidate but racist enough to change their minds if they suspect he might date white women. Maybe. But it seems to me their point was that Ford is a shallow, morally loose pretty boy, especially since the spot opens with another fake man-on-the-street interview in which a black woman says, "Harold Ford looks nice. Isn't that enough?" Scurrilous, yes. Racist, no.