Democrat Harold Ford Jr. emerging as potential Trump pick – Politico (blog)

Posted: Wednesday, November 23, 2016
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Rep. Harold Ford Jr. served five terms in Congress representing Tennessee. | Getty

Former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. is emerging as a possible contender for transportation secretary, or another Cabinet post, in Donald Trump’s budding administration.

The telegenic Ford — who served five terms in Congress representing Tennessee and is the son of a long-serving Democratic congressman from Memphis — has worked as a managing director at Morgan Stanley since 2011, and is a regular news analyst on MSNBC.

Ford endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race, and he and his wife, Emily, contributed to Clinton’s campaign. But Ford is also close with Trump’s children, Don Jr., Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, an associate said.

Now the moderate Democrat is poised to potentially join the incoming Republican administration. Two sources confirmed to POLITICO that Ford has yet to meet with the president-elect, but that there have been some preliminary feelers put out about potential Cabinet-level posts, including transportation secretary, via “emissaries.” And Ford did not rule it out.

“He’s happy doing what he’s doing,” a source close to Ford told POLITICO. “If the President-elect called, then of course, he would listen carefully.”

Reached on his cellphone, Ford dodged questions about his future in a Trump administration.

“I’m on vacation with my family,” he said when asked whether he has had any conversations about a Cabinet position such as transportation secretary. “I’d appreciate you calling me in the office on Monday.”

Ford has toyed with restarting his political career since leaving the House. In 2010, Ford seriously considered challenging New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the Democratic primary for Senate. But after launching a listening tour across the state, he ultimately decided not to run, claiming it would only splinter Democrats in the general election.

Trump, an adviser said, is keen on adding some Democrats to his Cabinet, and Ford’s made-for-TV looks could endear him to Trump (as could his regular appearances on “Morning Joe,” which Trump tunes in to regularly). The New York Times reported over the weekend that Trump took into account that Mike Pence looked right out of “central casting” when he tapped him as his running mate, and that he used the same language to describe the slim and patrician Mitt Romney, whom he reportedly is considering for secretary of state.

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