REAR-ENDED? Allison Republican smear ads notwithstanding, most Americans born since World War II would agree that black Democrat Harold Ford didn't do anything shameful when he dated a white woman.
Where Ford, who is running for Senate in Tennessee, did go wrong was in his choice of white women to date: He picked a blogger. Worse, he picked a blogger who writes a first-person sex-and-dating column for AM New York, in which she discusses such matters as her desire to have a threesome. Worst of all, he picked a blogger who loves publicity and is given to posting scantily-clad photos of herself on her site.
Her name is Julia Allison.
Ford's relationship with Allison first became news in 2003, when it was reported in the Washington Post's Reliable Source column that he was dating the then 21-year-old Georgetown student. (In that article, she was identified as Julia Baugher; she later adopted Allison as her professional name.)
It made headlines again two weeks ago, when the National Republican Senatorial Campaign issued a press release about "Ford's Fancy Fling." Allison responded with a post on her blog, filled with photos of her and Ford on a ski vacation. The post caught the attention of conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh. On Monday, Limbaugh read from Allison's blog on the air, citing it as evidence that a controversial Republican National Committee ad implying Ford likes Caucasian women was based on fact, not innuendo.
For her part, Allison—who also wrote about Ford, without naming him, in the July issue of Cosmopolitan—says she considers the attacks absurd. "My whole point is that he didn't do anything wrong," she tells Radar. "I really didn't think it was relevant, and it shouldn't affect anything."
But while Ford would no doubt rather his ex disappear for a while than defend him, that's not looking likely. "I was sort of annoyed that the New York Times didn't interview me," she says. "I'm the only person who has been publicly linked to him, ever. I'm sort of surprised no news producers have called me yet."