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The Tentacle


May 24, 2013

Blaine Young and Martin O’Malley

Roy Meachum

Martin O’Malley hosted a fundraiser for a fellow Democrat, New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, this week. Ahead, on June 12, the Maryland governor throws a financial shindig for Iowa senatorial wannabe, Bruce Braley.

 

As former head of the Democratic Governors Association, and present financial chairman, Mr. O’Malley raised more than $1 million for the president’s re-election campaign. This may be said to put him in good shape to succeed Barack Obama. But the Oval Office is staked out for former New York senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Also lurking around, Vice President Joe Biden should not be ignored.

 

The governor faces the dilemma because of term limits; after eight years he must move on to another seat, preferably. On the other hand, Frederick Board of County Commissioners President Blaine Young faces no such restraints; he announced last year he was forming a “discovery” panel, which licensed the committee to take in money.

 

A January story in the Frederick Gazette reported his electoral ambitions were $447 thousand richer. He’s since expressed interest in another office, promising to return funds raised for the gubernatorial campaign to the donors. I can’t imagine he’ll give back much. He’s pondering county executive, which voters approved last autumn.

 

Mr. O’Malley’s tough-row-to-hoe, in face of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Biden, is matched by Republican Young. Maryland is an overwhelming Democratic state, although Frederick County remains shakily in the GOP ranks. As I wrote, new demographics suggest that Mr. Obama’s party is gaining strength; his re-election last year saw the local margins closer.

 

In any event, the odds-on favorite to win, in 2014, looms Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown; he may be contested by Attorney General Doug Gansler, as my recent TheTentacle.com column suggested. In the other camp, Harford County Executive David Craig and ChangeMaryland’s Larry Hogan figure to give Mr. Young formidable competition. Certainly, while he’s unable technically to raise cash, Mr. Hogan is appear all over the state, speakers at dinners and electronic interviews.

 

Martin O’Malley may be running for vice president on the Hillary Clinton ticket, surrendering to the inevitable if not before at the quadrennial Democratic convention. There he will serve at the pleasure of the chief executive, in addition to being president of the U.S. Senate.

 

Former Vice President John Nance Garner dismissed the office “as not worth a pitcher of warm spit.” Mr. Garner was shoved aside for Henry Wallace, succeeded by Harry S Truman. These were in the days when Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected four times, corrected by Republicans in Congress, in 1947, right after World War II.

 

Next year the 50-year-old O’Malley might run for the number two slot, giving him more national stature, enabling Maryland’s governor to slip into the Oval Office. Stranger things have happened.

 

From behind North Market’s yellow door, I cannot discern the political future for Blaine Young; the best thing he could do is run again for county council, which he consistently spurned. The weakened powers of the new panel would enable him to devote more attention to family and his two different jobs.

 

But what do I know?

 



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