Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Harold Ford Jr. referred to himself as a lawyer earlier this week, but the congressman has not passed the bar exam.Yeah, right.
Michael Powell, senior adviser to the Ford campaign, said U.S. Rep. Ford took the Tennessee bar exam in February 1997 and failed.
. . . .
Mr. Powell said it is his understanding that Rep. Ford was joking when he made reference to being a lawyer during Tuesday’s meeting.
Mr. Powell said the GOP is finding "petty" things to talk about.
"We’re a month out from the election, and the Republicans and Mr. Corker still are not talking about the issues," he said.
Not so fast, flackey.
Tennesseans have usually sent lawyers to the United States Senate -- real lawyers, admitted to the Tennessee bar.
Go to Wikipedia's marvelous list of Tennessee's Senators throughout our state's history. Click on the names and again and again you will see facts like "He received a J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1967. He was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1967...." That's from former Senator Fred Thompson's Wiki bio; Fred even plays a lawyer on TV!
Estes Kefauver, Albert Gore, Sr., Howard Baker, Jim Sasser, Lamar Alexander -- all lawyers admitted to the Tennessee bar, practicing Tennessee lawyers, with achievements in their legal careers.
Why does Harold Ford, Jr., get a pass on this? I know too many smart, honest, competent lawyers and judges of African descent, who passed the Tennessee bar exam, to cut him any slack just for being black.
To me, this is an issue; but then, I am a Tennessee lawyer. I don't just play one on TV ... or in front of newspaper editorial boards. Just a joke, Ford? Or the sign of a great pretender? Yes! That's this post's soundtrack!
UPDATE: Read this Tennessee law:
39-16-302. Impersonation of licensed professional.
(a) It is unlawful for any person who is not licensed to do so, to practice or pretend to be licensed to practice a profession for which a license certifying the qualifications of such licensee to practice the profession is required.
(b) A violation of this section is a Class E felony.
[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1.] (emphases added)
Then watch these videos:
These statements to Wolf Blitzer likely didn't take place in Tennessee; but other jurisdictions have similar statutes. The statements were broadcast or cablecast into Tennessee, though; and the "joke" in front of the Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial board presumably was made in Tennessee.
UPDATE: It appears the Tennessee Republican Party floated this campaign ad on YouTube:
UPDATE: The Corker campaign brings this back up, with a kicker.