All Sizzle, No Steak
To hear the papers tell it, Harold Ford, Jr., is the second coming of Tennessee politics to the national stage. He's already been a speaker, primetime, during the last Democratic presidential convention. He's been on various national talk shows. He verges on stardom, and the papers all love him.
Unfortunately, according to this story in the Commercial Appeal, via the Knoxville News-Sentinel, he's not bringing home the bacon! The Associated Press did a study of how much each Congressional Representative brings back to his district and Harold Ford ranks hard at the bottom--431 (out of 435, for those of you who don't know how many Representatives there are in Congress) in 1995, then dropping to 434 last year!
It seems that a lack of large Federal projects or spending in the area are to blame. Also, the loss of 9 million people from welfare rolls has helped (or hurt, depending on your point of view). And, of course, the party in power controls the direction of the cash flow--Democrat Ford is out of luck in a Republican era.
So all you folks who think it's great that Ford is becoming a national leader remember this: it looks like the only beneficiary of his stardom is himself.
Until next time,
Your Working Boy