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Stephen Colbert Welcomes Harold Ford to the Big Apple.

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"By pro-life you don't mean anti-abortion?" Ford took the opening and ran. "Absolutely, National Right To Life Committee never endorsed me. NARAL gave me... a lifetime score of 83." Feeling safe, he got sloppy. "This is politics." He said, as if that distinguished this topic from all the others. Pausing to collect his wits, Ford started to stutter. Colbert went after him like a dog with a bone. He grabbed the initiative by the throat and shook it harshly. "But what does that mean, 'I was not pro-choice at one time?'" He asked, reading from the note card with Ford's quote. Ford began flailing like a drowning junkie caught in the undertow of denial. "I've always been pro-choice." He gurgled.

Having scored four times already, with only half the bout over, Colbert let him slide with "So you're for some restriction on abortion." The damage done, Colbert launched a fresh line of attack. "On Gay Marriage in 2006 you said, 'I've never flip-flopped on gay marriage... I've always been opposed to it.'" Colbert followed the shot with a solid combination. He reminded Ford of quotes from a more recent vintage where Ford said he was for same sex marriage. Colbert finished the combination by drilling it home with "You were against it now you are for it."

A visibly dazed Ford tried to distract Colbert by pointing to Stephen's earlier joke about Matt Lauer's hunkie abs. Colbert didn't even slow down. He caught Ford again with a stinging backhand. "I'm not surprised you will consider gay marriage when he's around." Ouch! Ford, I think he just called you a closet queen. The crowd seemed to agree. The sickly grimace Ford wore as he tried to back out of harm's way made it clear he knew he'd just found himself on the chump end of the dozens.

Colbert celebrated his fifth and sixth points with a quick victory dance welcoming Ford to the "gotchya capital" of the world, reminding him he asked for it. So far, Ford hadn't even laid a glove on him.

Ford desperately tried to get his legs back and put some points on the board. He cited his voyage of discovery from a boy raised in a rural Southern Baptist church to the present. Colbert hit him with a hard right cross, reminding Ford the Bible was clear on gay marriage. "It's an abomination, Sir." Taunting Ford to go against the word of God, Stephen worked the weak spot. Ford pivoted and put on the "independent" thinker's cap. That protected him momentarily, but it was becoming clear Ford had gotten hit in the head harder than people realized. For some reason, Ford forgot who he was fighting and took a swing at Gillibrand. That went nowhere, but then he took a swing at President Obama. "In some ways I've got a better position than the president on this."

Colbert, ever the sportsman declined to take advantage of that faux pas because Ford clearly had was not defending himself. A lesser man would have taken advantage of this opening to deliver a potentially lethal blow. Mistaking sportsmanship for something else, Ford got cocky. "You don't want to say something on that?" He asked, leading with his chin. Realizing that he had just pulled on Superman's cape, Ford started to back peddle furiously, "I'm kidding."

Too late. Colbert, switched tempo and came at him full force with a solid combination. "I'm not a fan of his, either." The punch was so crisp you could hear the smack several states away. That was followed by the even more devastating straight punch to the gut, "I'm glad you're distancing yourself from President Obama." Ford rocked back as far as he could without falling over, landing on the ropes.

Trying to determine if Ford was about to go full Lieberman on us, Colbert asked "As a Democrat are you willing to stand behind that statement?" A weak and chastened Ford, murmured, "by no means." Here is where Dr. Colbert demonstrated his mastery of the "sweet science." Colbert's fancy footwork had just forced Ford to flip-flop in the space of 30 seconds, right there in the ring. Oh... the humanity.

Checking to see if his opponent was still competent to fight, Colbert did a field test of Ford's mental status. Colbert reminded Ford about his claim to have visited Staten Island because his helicopter had touched down there. "You remember saying that?" Ford, surprisingly, said he did not remember saying it. Obviously, the hits to the head were taking their toll. However, there were no judges to stop the fight, so Colbert did the only thing that made sense. He hit Ford with a clean uppercut that put him back on his heels. "Are there any other parts of New York you would designate as helicopter only?"

Once again, Ford rocked back and lay on the ropes, staring at the ceiling before the catcalls from the crowd reminded him where he was and that he was fighting for his political life.

Colbert, knowing a knockout would look like a beat down, pointed to Schenectady as a way out of the corner. Ford, not bright enough to grab the life preserver, came back swinging. "I was the Commanding Officer for the New York Police Department for the day." Then he described something that was clearly a ceremonial VIP tour. That sank his attempt to spin this story into one about his support for the police. He only connected with air, but at least it kept him off his knees.

Colbert, savoring his dominance, let Ford wobble through the final seconds to finish with a semblance of dignity intact. But the score was clear. Colbertnailed him a lot more than five times. One judge had him ahead by eight while Ford walked away with goose eggs. To quote his Republican colleagues, "Fordfought like acrazed Michael Steele."

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For starters, I am not the Henry Porter who writes for the Observer in Britain. I'm a native New Yorker living in Maryland. I used to believe knowledge was power. Now I know knowledge translated into action is power.
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