Harold Ford Jr.:
November 3, 2004

Dear Congressman Ford:

Perhaps you have already seen William Safire's column in today's New York Times....

Actually, we at the Flyer were flattered that Mr. Safire endorsed our own Kerry as Senate Minority Leader idea, perhaps without even reading our current editorial.(www.memphisflyer.com/content.asp?ID=3060&onthefly=1 )

But seriously: I hope you will endorse the Flyer's and Mr. Safire's idea. Ask your Democratic senatorial colleagues to draft John Kerry as Senate Minority Leader.

Senator Kerry is now a proven and widely-admired national leader. If the Democrats fail to make this patently-obvious choice, they deserve the possibly adverse consequences that will follow.

With all due respect to Senator Reid, appointing a relative unknown to that position will squander valuable momentum generated by this presidential campaign. Perhaps the congressional leadership doesn't realize how close the national Democratic Party is to oblivion.

Business-as-usual in the Senate, Congressman, just won't do. I know I speak for many committed Democrats -- Democrats who donated blood, sweat, tears and dollars to the recent campaign -- when I say that IT IS TIME FOR THE CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE. Continuity is essential if we are ever to get out of this pickle we presently find ourselves.

I am not suggesting for a moment that Senator Kerry should be the party's standard-bearer in 2008; that decision is light years away at this point, and a thousand events will occur in the meantime. What we cannot afford, however, is to squander all the good work that has been accomplished during this recent campaign, in terms of organization, grass-roots involvment, and sheer enthusiasm, and return to business as usual within the halls of Congress.

Senator Kerry can and will be a powerful "leader of the opposition"; after today's magnaminous concession speech, he is perhaps the most well-respected defeated presidential candidate of modern times. Give him the chance to maintain his position as de facto leader of our party during the challenging two years ahead of us.

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who might find the contents of interest. Thanks.

Good to see you at the game tonight; go Griz! All the best, Ken

Kenneth Neill Publisher/CEO THE MEMPHIS FLYER, Memphis, TN

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