Is Harold Ford's Campaign A Practical Joke?

Ezra looks at the evidence:

How else do you explain an interview in which a seasoned politician responds to a question about visiting Staten Island by saying, "I landed there in the helicopter." Or explains that "I don't really take the subway very often unless it's wintertime and I can't get a taxi on Fifth." How about one who says of his relationship with guns, "I do shoot them, and I shoot them at things that can't shoot back. And will continue to do that. And by that, I want to be clear, I don't mean children."

A helicopter to Staten Island? Seriously?  Yglesias notes that, on health care, Harold Ford is positioning himself to the right of Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman. Dude. This is New York.

I don't have the kind of visceral Ford-hate that afflicts some of my friends, but this whole affair just doesn't strike me as poorly conceived. What's his constituency? Matt jokes about the black vote, but I tell you what, with Obama coming out for Gillibrand, I don't really see Harlem (or Bed-Stuy, or Jamaica...) saving him.