Special elections often have small turnouts. People forget about them or they just feel they are forgone conclusions, but this election is not a slam-dunk for the Republicans.
On May 5, Republican prosecutor Dan Donovan will square off against Democrat Councilman Vincent Gentile. This is the race that the people in the 11th District should have gotten last year. Instead, voters had to choose between Grimm, who was under indictment, and Domenic Recchia.
That race resembled the Pennsylvania Senate race in the movie Bob Roberts, where you knew Roberts had a dark side but he was still the more attractive choice. Donovan and Gentile are both good candidates, and the district needs that kind of election.
The National Republican Congressional Committee should be investing in this race if they have not already. It would look bad for the seat to be defended successfully by Grimm only to be lost a year later.
For the Democratic Party, this is a big break. They get another turn at bat in a district where they might win. And if they do, it would breathe life into their party in Washington.
The Art of Staying Out of the Way
Former Maryland governor, and former mayor of Baltimore, Martin O’Malley is exploring a run for the presidency in 2016. People who understand politics know that there is always a big field of dreamers hoping to catch enough wind hitting their sail the right way and get them to New Hampshire and beyond.
O’Malley enjoyed two terms as governor of Maryland, but his record was so-so. What O’Malley is better known for is his ability to win elections when the odds are against him.
He was elected mayor of Baltimore, which is not easy for a white, middle-class, hipster-ish candidate. He was a member of a band at the time, just to put this into perspective.
O’Malley has a way of winning. In this way, he is no different from former New York governor George Pataki on the Republican side. Both candidates are relatively low-key, and yet, they never lose elections.
No young student of political science has dreamed of being Martin O’Malley, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is almost always on the sunny side of Election Day.
For O’Malley, a run for the White House might be more of an audition for the number two spot. Running mates are no longer mandated with delivering a home state. Dick Cheney and Joe Biden have proven that one can be effective even if only having three electoral votes tucked away in a saddlebag.
The old days of putting a Californian on the short list are over since the state is no longer in play on a national level.
O’Malley is an attractive potential vice presidential nominee because he will dutifully blend into the scenery. If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party nominee for president, the campaign can not be derailed or upstaged by her running mate, which makes O’Malley a good fit.