Harold Ford Jr. held a small press conference at Union Square this afternoon at the exact moment Apple was announcing its new iPad–although the timing seemed a bit lost on him.

“It’s no secret that Apple’s new product, which is coming out in the next day or so–I don’t want to be a promoter of their product–but they reported a pretty good quarter and now their commitment to innovation is allowing them to grow more,” Mr. Ford said.

Mr. Ford was using that example to push the idea that tax cuts and credits for research and development ought to be made permanent, in order to spur American innovation. He also called for a payroll tax, a lowering of the corporate-tax rate, and said his legislative career had been “committed to helping the Democratic Party always be the conscience of the middle class.”

Incidentally, things weren’t looking up for Apple at the moment Mr. Ford spoke. The company’s stock plummeted right after the announcement. (It’s since bounced back.)


Despite competing with the big iPad unveiling, Mr. Ford managed to draw ten reporters and four television cameras.

And, perhaps as a testament to the Tennessee transplant’s polarizing effect on New Yorkers, one woman tried to squeeze her way through the scrum of reporters just to shake Mr. Ford’s hand. She finally succeeded when the press conference was over, just as a man looked up from watching a chess game to yell: “You’re a new cat! You don’t know nothing about New York!”