"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Could Maryland Be In Play?

I have just received an coyly worded email from the Maryland GOP that is not quite coy enough to prevent me from concluding that Michael Steele, currently our lieutenant governor, is going to announce next Tuesday that he will seek the Senate seat being vacated when Paul Sarbanes retires in 2006. This is wonderful news for Maryland Republicans, and potentially a great moment for Maryland as well.

Michael Steele is the genuine article: a conservative Catholic African-American, he has lived his whole life in Maryland. He rose up through the ranks of county politics, and at the age of 47 is the highest-ranking black state political office-holder in the country. In 2002, the Ehrlich-Steele ticket took the statehouse away from the Democrats, in this bluest of blue states, largely because the black voters of Baltimore and Prince George's County were so ambivalent and apathetic towards the Democratic nominee, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. In the intervening years Baltimore has continued to suffer under the leadership of the Democrat mayor, Martin O'Malley, while Prince George's has benefitted from the pro-growth state policies of the Ehrlich administration. The time may have finally come when Maryland Republicans can make some inroads with this key voting group, now that there are some concrete accomplishments we can point to.

After the disappointment of the Miers nomination, I needed some cheering up. And this does it -- I'm excited about this prospect.

6 comments:

Hunter Baker said...

Kathy, you helped my frame of mind. Steele is cool. I'd like to see him in the Senate.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Must be serious. Our friends are warming up a nice bucket of slime for him.

Hunter Baker said...

That kind of stuff kills me. It's that way for challengers in the early going. If he hits his stride, he'll have NO problem attracting cash and crowds. None at all.

Kathy Hutchins said...

Oh yes, Roy Temple is such a force in Maryland politics. Not. He's some lefty loudmouth from Missouri.

I love the outrage over Ehrlich administration "dirty tricks" and somehow not a mention, either in the leftosphere or the MSM, of this little indiscretion. If Steele is such a wuss candidate, why the heck is an experienced political operative like Katie Barge risking criminal prosecution on this kind of oppo?

Jay D. Homnick said...

The danger for Steele is the RINOs who won't vote for a true Conservative. Look what happened to Alan Keyes in Maryland; since then, he has no serious political career.

Kathy Hutchins said...

Look what happened to Alan Keyes in Maryland; since then, he has no serious political career.

I wasn't living in Maryland during the Keyes candidacies, so I'm not in a position to offer much, other than the obvious observation that in both his Maryland races he was challenging an incumbent, and that the Maryland GOP is now in much better shape than it was fifteen years ago. Also, Keyes was well known, but was not perceived as someone who had "paid his political dues." Local machine politics is still the norm here; you don't parachute in from a federal career, you come up through the county party operations and serve your time in the trenches. If, for instance, Allan Lichtman were to win the Democrat primary (which I think very unlikely), the resulting Lichtman-Steele race would be a Bizarro World version of the Keyes-Mikulski race.

Another of Steele's advantages is that he's not going to have a primary fight. The Democrat primary is shaping up to be an absolute circus; in addition to the usual crop of current congressmen, mayors, and county supervisors, we've got Lichtman, Kweisi Mfume, and Greta van Susteren's little sister.