Acquiescing to Democratic Party bosses, Harold Ford Jr. announced last night he won't challenge New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the fall primaries. He explained his decision in a New York Times column that slams Democrats for pushing a national political agenda out of touch with local constituents. Despite Ford's differences with the party, he said he wanted to avoid a "brutal" primary because it would only help Republicans. While liberals are glad to see him go, conservatives are ruing his departure, as some hoped he might dilute the Democrats' agenda.

  • Good Riddance, writes Nathan Empsall at left-leaning MyDD: "Thank God. Between Ford's awful roll-out and Gillibrand's solid leadership on repealing DADT, it's clear who is the superior politician and the superior policymaker here. At the end of the day, Ford has done little more than to boost Gillibrand's numbers against likely general election opponent, former Gov. George Pataki. And that's a good thing - we need Gillibrand in the Senate."
  • You Can Say That Again, nods Adam Bink at Open Left: "This [primary] would not have been a good investment for progressives- and there was always the chance that Ford could have ended up as the Democratic nominee from the State of New York. Stranger things have happened in the history of American elections. In this case, it's good that there won't be a chance at that."
  • Ford's Betraying His Moderate Beliefs, charges The Lonely Conservative: "It's party before country. Ford's perfectly willing to leave the Senate in the hands of the radical left of the Democrat Party. Some moderate."
  • Seems Neither Honest Nor Loyal, notices No More Mister Nice Blog: "He spends most of his time attacking fellow Democrats, while seeming to recall only at the last minute that he's supposed to regard Republicans as the bad guys...That's party loyalty, Democrat style."