Ford to Australia: You’re Next

Harold Ford, Jr. is a very intelligent man. Which is why this is so hard to believe:

His skilled oration on domestic politics may be flawless, but his grip on foreign policy is error-prone. Yesterday he stumbled into gaffes on the North Korean nuclear tests and then mentioned Australia in the same breath as rogue nations wanting to go nuclear.

“Here we are in a world today where more countries have access to nuclear weapons than ever before,” Mr Ford said, adding that when he left college in 1992 he thought the nuclear age had come to an end “and America would find ways to eliminate the number of chances that a rogue group or a rogue nation would get their hands on nuclear material”.

“Today nine countries have it – more than ever before – and 40 are seeking it, including Argentina, Australia and South Africa,” he said.

Ford was humble and apologized when informed of his mistake. Or not:

The gaffes were lost on the audience and he was given a rousing standing ovation from Democrats and Republicans alike. Any chance of clarifying Mr Ford’s remarks with the man himself was impossible as minders shielded any international media from asking questions, ushering Mr Ford away.“You don’t win us any votes,” said his spokeswoman. And she might have added that it also means he is insulated from pesky questions probing his limitations on enunciating a foreign policy involving a trusted ally.

This is getting very little (if any) coverage in the American media, which is unfortunate, as it calls into question Ford’s ability to govern. Having said that, a political ad exposing this lack of foreign policy knowledge probably wouldn’t be nearly as effective as the “call me” ad. This is unfortunate.

Via Glenn Reynolds.

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