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The Tentacle


February 25, 2004

Welcome ''Forgotten Tuesday''

John P. Snyder

There was a time, more than 20 years ago, when states located below the Mason Dixon Line banded together to stack all of their primaries on the first Tuesday in March in presidential election years. Super Tuesday, as it was known, was a very big deal.

Only Georgia and Maryland from that original group will hold primaries next week.

Now that the unending reporting on the dreaded "Black Book" debacle seems to be receding, there is time for all voters to study the candidates and the issues.

By the close of business next Tuesday two important questions will be answered. The first will give an indication of just how entrenched Roscoe Bartlett is in the hearts and minds of Sixth District Republicans.

Given the choice between Dr, Bartlett and States Attorney Scott Rolle, Roscoe should win convincingly. This time. The Rolle camp has run a very quiet but effective campaign, centering their efforts in retail politics. Mr. Rolle has worked hard at going door-to-door in fast growing Carroll County, hitting all the precincts that have high voter turnouts. Ditto for Washington County and the parts of Montgomery and Howard County that comprise the sixth district.

Dr. Bartlett has shown a renewed spirit and a willingness to go out and press the flesh. It's evident that he loves his job and intends to keep it.

I recall being in the deepest, darkest reaches of Garrett County during the 1996 election. There I found dozens of Bartlett signs in the most remote areas you could imagine. I see a 60-40 win for Roscoe this time around. Enough to make the Bartlett camp happy, but also good enough to encourage Scott Rolle to keep his campaign running right through 2006.

I don't like to disparage those who get off their duffs and mount their own campaigns, such as the six Democrats that are vying for the nod to take on either Bartlett or Rolle, but these guys, collectively, are just not ready for prime time.

Listening to them, and reading their answers to questions, it is evident that none of them took the time to learn the issues to present a coherent justification of their positions. All of them have used every well worn clichés and every generalization they could find.

The Maryland presidential primary has had some interesting moments in its history. In 1976, Californian Jerry Brown swept Jimmy Carter. In 1972, George Wallace took the Maryland primary. Of course, there was a sympathy vote attached to his win. A few days before the primary, a chap named Arthur Bremer gunned him down at a Laurel shopping center. Wallace never walked again.

This year, Maryland Democrats will presumably endorse Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts as the man most able to defeat the hated George W. Bush. The exact time is unclear, but the day when a severe case of buyers remorse will descend on the Democratic faithful is fast approaching. Mr. Kerry is an arrogant, elitist windbag who cannot give a straight answer. This fact will soon be clear enough.

Nine months is a long time. Plenty of time for people to get tired of his condescending ways.

Also, by the end of next Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Terry Adams should have squelched Lennie Thompson's pipe dream of becoming a judge. Her 18-year legal career simply overwhelms whatever qualifications Mr. Thompson believes he has.

Judge Adams is one of the rare people that accumulates friends and admirers on a daily basis. Combine that with a large extended family and there is no reason she shouldn't win handily. She is the one candidate that the "R's and the D's" can agree on.

Finally, by nightfall, the darkest of dark horses, Republican State Sen. E. J. Pipkin will get the nod to take on Babs Mikulski.

Ms. Mikulski seems to have been awakened from her 18-year slumber to defend her seat. She has even been spotted around the state - in person. Mixing with the common folk; bonding with those in need.

For being irrelevant, one could say she is in a class by herself. But that would be wrong. She has to share that distinction with Maryland Democratic Senator Paul Sarbanes. Give her hell, E. J., she deserves it.

I'll see you at the polls next Tuesday. Don't forget!.



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