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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Maryland's step child political existance


      We in Maryland are used to being ignored in Presidential races.  Maryland's not seen as a state "in play" as a fairly safe Democrat state.  No one likes being ignored but it just goes with having the Electoral College used to elect the President.  For this reason our elected statewide officials (minus Agnew) are not seen as potential Vice President choices either.  We are not Florida or Ohio as much as we would like that attention from Presidential candidates.  Of course once you are elected President Maryland makes a nice location to hold an event to highlight a political program because we are so close to DC.  The President can be here for the event and be home for dinner.
     Maybe this year will be different with our two past Governors both taking a Presidential run.  With former Gov. O'Malley already announced and former Gov. Erhlich considering a run at least the rest of the Country will get a chance to learn a little more about Maryland, for good and bad, than in the past election years.  It is telling that Gov. O'Malley quickly left for New Hampshire and Iowa after symbolically announcing in Baltimore.   Of course it would probably be a major miracle for either one to get the nomination and win the election and become the first Marylander to become President.   Maryland is like a middle child caught between our larger siblings of Pennsylvania to the North and Virginia to the South.  In Colonial days we may have had the Carrolls but never really had a leader of the status of a Franklin, Adams, Washington or Jefferson.  In the Civil War we couldn't decide if we were Union or Confederate.  We have the Chesapeake Bay (even if we share it with Virginia) and our claim to fame still seems to be mostly about blue crabs.

    Something else that has bothered me is that a state like Maryland gets overlooked in primary season.  We usually have our primary too late to have any impact on the eventual outcome.  Maryland, along with a few other states, has been called "America in miniature."  Wouldn't Maryland (60% white, 30% African American, 9% Hispanic, 6% Asian)  be a more representative state to hold one of the early primaries than less diverse states like Iowa (92% white. 5% Hispanic, 3% African American) and New Hampshire (94%white, 1.5% African American, 2% Asian, 3% Hispanic)?  Of course with our large Federal employee population we would be less receptive to the bashing of the Federal Government that is so popular today.

    On a more local level Howard County has played a similar step child role in Maryland.  We have become used to being carved up in a way that met the needs of Baltimore elected officials looking for Democrat votes in their districts.  We seem to have been able to have our Delegates and Senators representing big chunks of Howard County but we have not been able to have a Howard Countian represent us in Congress.  Someday it might be nice for Howard County to become large enough to have our own Congressperson.  Having a path to Congress for one of our local officials might be a nice thought.  Congress could use more of our Howard County elected officials.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Howard County did manage to get one of our own elected as Lt. Governor, Boyd Rutherford.

You are right about Congress though. Republicans have put up Howard County-based candidates against Rep. Cummings through recent elections, but even if they got 100% of the vote in Howard County, Baltimore City votes still carry the day.