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DLC Taps Harold Ford as Next Chair

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Young, black, and good-looking, Harold Ford is the kind of comer that the Democratic Party latches onto. But last November, after losing the closest Senate race in Tennessee history to Republican Bob Corker, the 10-year congressman suddenly found himself out of a job. So, many wondered, where would he end up?

Radar has learned that Ford has been offered the chairmanship of the Democratic Leadership Council, the centrist think tank founded in the mid-’80s by Al From and other New Democrats as a tool for cultivating like-minded candidates, particularly at the presidential level.

According to a draft memo that sources provided to Radar, Ford has agreed to replace Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as chairman of the influential organization. Vilsack, a centrist with little national name recognition, recently announced that he would run for president in 2008. After interviewing a number of high-profile candidates for the job, DLC honchos decided that Ford would be the ideal choice to run the group. In the Jan. 8 memo obtained by Radar, Ford seemed to eagerly anticipate the prospect. “I have enjoyed our conversations and am excited about becoming the Chairman of the DLC,” Ford wrote to Al From, the DLC’s CEO. “Your stewardship of the organization over the years has made the DLC one of the premiere Democratic think tanks.”

[Full memo after the jump!]

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