After months of speculation that the Democratic Leadership Council chairman and former Tennessee congressman would run for Senate in New York, Harold Ford, Jr. has announced he won't after all.

Ford penned this op-ed, published today in The New York Times.

In announcing he wouldn't run, Ford both indicts the Democratic Party and says he's foregoing candidacy in order to spare it a bruising primary that would damage the chances of the winner--be it him or incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand--of winning in the general election:

Yet the party has been too slow to change. The effects of its lack of flexibility have been clear in a series of worrisome political events: Ted Kennedy's "safe" Senate seat was lost to a Republican; Evan Bayh of Indiana and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota announced they weren't running for re-election; Senate seats held by Democrats in Wisconsin and Delaware now seem to be in jeopardy; New York's state government faces even more controversy and challenge.

Without Ford in the race, Democrats will at least be spared the talk of "carpetbagging" in what would become a high-profile Senate race.

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