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May 3, 2005

Let the Games Begin

ĎTis the season of style over substance, and voters will be tested and pulled by marketers for awhile before the serious campaign ideas are brought into the light.  Perhaps it is coincidence, but a day after Rep. Cardin announced his bid for the Senate, a confidential memo regarding allegations of improprieties at the NAACP against Kweisi Mfume surfaced.

In addition to a lack of immediate support for Mr. Mfume, compared to Mr. Cardin, he looks like an also ran in the areas of marketing and preparedness to campaign Ė there is no website ready for instance.  Yet Mr. Cardin has even reached out via email already to Third District voters to ask that they visit his website and complete a questionnaire on the issues.

But of course, this is but the opening forays, the real substance will emerge over months and no one can assume that all the issues are before us at present, time will only tell what may come to predominate the race.  However, Mr. Cardin has a formidable base given his long years of service, as Speaker of the Maryland House, and a Congressman.  He is much loved in Northwest Baltimore, and a real power, and apparently admired, given his liberality, widely.

Frederick is a focus of electoral ambitions for a change, and both gubernatorial campaigns recognize it, both some of the current Governorís strength is here, and the challengers hopes of making inroads in outlying areas are here too.  We can only hope that the focus remains fixed and that the 800 pound gorillas of Montgomery and PG counties donít overtake us with their clout again.  And Democratic challengers must keep a keen eye on the previous ability of Mr. Duncan to swing the race away from us.

Mr. OíMalley came to the local Democratic dinner last week and made a good showing with his tentative testing of the waters and his reliance on historical verity.  Yet the FDR references are hard to swallow as we watch the Republican push to gut Social Security. 

Why canít we ever focus on fixing a problem thatís immediate and real, instead of a contrived political philosophical problem?  Forty years from now, the status of Social Security will have twisted a dozen times in unforeseen ways, we canít know now how it will play out, to the positive or negative.

Probably the most difficult campaign in town is the struggle to be recognized as a valid candidate in the eight county monstrosity of a 6th District.  The party has an obligation to hash out the races and promote a single strong candidate against such a formidable race.  I hope to see better work done this time around.


And yes Frederick, Joe Baldi came out in red, white and blue boxing gloves, but didnít hint at a bit of real substance, other then, ďTake Back your City!Ē  It had a hollow ring.  I already felt it was my city, and the guys around you planning to take it back looked like the same old lawyers and developers who feel they run it now Joe!

Not that Joe isnít a most civil guy, in every regards, and poking a little fun.  Youíve got to give him that, it was amusing, especially since heís often so quiet and restrained in his approach, but thatís also what I do like about him, little bombast.  But I wanted to hear substance from him and itís lacking at this point.  Whereís that beef?  Iím willing to listen to your ideas about what needs to be done, and about how you would be different.  And supersize it please!

And of course, we have Mr. Lenhart, who while claiming to want to spend more time focused on his family, persists with the notion that sending them to Georgia while hanging out in an apartment in Frederick to cause trouble is the best course for his life?  What happened to the life changing event of his medical condition?  Suppose he has additional emergencies while his family is four states away?  Is that insanity, or what?

Lo, say it ainít so!  Say youíll just go!

Such are the foibles of local politics, and the musings of this pundit in Springtime.  Stop and enjoy the flowers.  I see much to hope for, and better days by Fall, and an election that will go our way.