If there's absolutely no reason for you to run for an office that you covet, because you've sworn off electoral politics in the past or because the dirty act of ginning up support would tarnish your dignified public image, a "Draft" campaign is a wonderful way to build a campaign without sullying your good name. It worked for the unblinking Wesley Clark and the beloved Barry Goldwater. Except of course for the fact that neither of them won. But they became deluded by their grassroots supporters into thinking they had a shot. Which is sad, really—much better to convince yourself that you're the nation's best hope and invent a grassroots movement to match your self-regard after the fact.
Harold Ford's problem was that he announced his candidacy himself, then claimed to be answering the call of desperate people yearning for his leadership in these trying times. It sounded phony, especially because the only people he could name behind the supposed drumbeat were Bloomberg cronies and Democratic fundraisers of the Upper East Side. Working the happy hour crowd at the Regency is not quite the Eugene Debs write-in campaign.
But what of Larry Kudlow? Did you read in the New York Post about the movement to convince the "respected supply-side economist" (hah) to bend to the popular will and mount a challenge against Chuck Schumer? The former Reagan appointee and Bear Stearns managing director (until his coke habit landed him in rehab) and current CNBC pundit who is always wrong swore off a Senate run against Chris Dodd last year. But this is this year, and this is also New York.
The "Draft Kudlow" movement has a treasurer and a finance chair—which makes it sound a bit more like an exploratory committee than a movement, especially when those employees are long-time friends of the candidate being "convinced" to run.
Even more fun: the treasurer is Michael Caputo and the finance chair is John Lakian. Lakian was once a Republican
nominee candidate for governor of Massachusetts. Lakian is a close friend of GOP operative Roger Stone, who once convinced him to run against Ted Kennedy himself (Lakian lost the nomination to Romney). Caputo, who's running the "Draft Kudlow" campaign, is a slimy operative known for his connections to fellow slimy operative Roger Stone. Stone is an unrepentant dirty trickster who never lets the fact that he's such a ridiculous character get in the way of a good misinformation campaign. While he serves no official role in the Kudlow campaign, only an idiot would assume he's not involved.