One Tennessee media site suggests this could be a way of grooming him for a presidential run but... for which party? The DLC is losing ground and more and more people are discovering what they really are-- faux republican corporatists parading as Democrats.
It is likely that Ford has been tapped because he will be able to evangelize the DLC's right wing drivel to the African American community, particularly the preacher-based part of the community that has resonated with the anti-gay, anti same-sex-marriage right wing wedge issue bangers. Not a bad idea from a DLC point of view-- but bad for African Americans. It will surely be divisive and will weaken and fracture the unity with which the black community has voted and worked together.
I'd say that if Ford takes the job, he is burying any chance for President he ever had-- not that he had muc of one, after his loss-- setting himselfup for a job as a lobbyist, or maybe as a TV pundit for FOX, where they look for weak, barely left of right wing "democrats" to "balance" their extreme right wingnut gasbag pundits-- like Anne Coulter, et. al.
Maybe Ford deserved to lose his senate race. Maybe the way to win tight races is to stand for the strong Democratic principles that progressives support. I've long said that the progressive position on issues is the true center, that progressives now represent the new moderate position even that progressives are actually the true conservatives.
The DLC has been moving so far to the right-- they are a damaging, destructive part of the Democratic party. The DNC and democratic leaders should repudiate the DLC and its leaders, and progressives should call them what they are-- right-wing sell-outs.