Friday, December 09, 2005

Message to Duncan: Don't Bother

from The League: Reassembled

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley stepped up the pressure on MoCo Exec Doug Duncan to drop out of the Democratic primary for the gubernatorial nomination with the selection of Del. Anthony Brown as his running mate.

(O'Malley selects Pr. George's delegate as running mate from The Washington Examiner)

First of all, lets give kudos to O'Malley for a strategic choice. Brown is black, which makes the O'Malley-Brown ticket more appealing to the important black voting constituency. He is also from PG Co., which gives the team a geographic balance. Brown is also a smart guy (with a law degree from Harvard) who served in the US Army, which may make right-of-center voters frustrated with Ehrlich feel better about voting for the Democrats.

But beyond all of that, O'Malley's decision is cunningly strategic for its timing. By solidifying his running mate so early in the game, the Mayor is sending Duncan a clear message: "I am going to be the Democratic nominee, this is a sure thing, I already have everything set up, so just drop out of the race now." If O'Malley can convince Duncan that his momentum is unstoppable (there's a reason the Mayor's unveiling all of these endorsements almost a year before the primary), he may be able to scare Duncan off. Besides raising boatloads more cash, choosing a running mate this early is one of the best ways to accomplish this.

Again, kudos for a strategic decision. We at the League, however much we want to see a Democratic nominee emerge who is not completely bruised from the primary, believe that the O'Malley v Duncan primary provides an opportunity for some real discussion. Lets face it: Ehrlich isn't going to challenge O'Malley on his stepped-up abuse of civil liberties (O'Malley has overseen the installation of Orwellian street cameras and increased use of the "stop-and-frisk" tactic by police). Even if Duncan doesn't get the nomination, he should put up a fight.

from The League: Reassembled with revisions

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