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Harold Ford has yet to decide if he plans to challenge Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in New York's Democratic primary this fall—he says there's an 80 percent change he'll enter the race—but he sure looks like a candidate. In addition to taking a leave of absence from his job, traveling the state to shake voters' hands, and registering the domain FordforNewYork, he's now sprinkling Yiddish into his interviews.

Unfortunately for Ford, it didn't go so well:

During an interview on an Albany talk radio station on Monday morning, Mr. Ford, the former Tennessee congressman who has relocated to Manhattan and is considering a challenge to Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, dropped a little Yiddish and described the attacks against him as a "schmear" campaign.

"As you know, there's been a schmear campaign about my position on some of the social issues. I'm pro-choice," Mr. Ford said, referring to criticisms from women's rights groups that he has waffled on reproductive choice issues.

The interviewer, Fred Dicker, a columnist for The New York Post, did a double take at Mr. Ford's answer: "Did you say smear or schmear?"

"I'm a little country, I apologize," Mr. Ford said, his Tennessee twang getting a little thicker. "It's s-m-e-a-r."

Don't 'Schmear' Me, Ford Warns [NYT]
An Unofficial Candidate, on the Trail [NYT]
Ford Targets Gillibrand, But Takes On Schumer [NYDN]