11.05.10 Ehrlich the Fluke
This is cross-posted with the Washington Post’s All Opinions Are Local.
Bob Ehrlich didn’t just lose on Tuesday in his bid to reclaim the Maryland governorship. Nope, in a year when the country turned hard right, he was resoundingly whupped, losing by 13 points. The margin of Ehrlich’s loss nearly matches the margin of Republican wins everywhere else. And this comes despite the former governor’s decent approval ratings.
The Ehrlich repudiation of 2010 sends a very clear message: Sorry, Bob. Maryland voters never really chose you or the Republican Party on the merits. The only reason you interrupted the string of Democratic governors after the ignominious Spiro Agnew (1967-69), is because of who you had the good fortune to run against in 2002. That was when Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the sitting lieutenant governor, ran one of the worst campaigns in human memory. It was the same year that Maryland told the Kennedy clan loud and clear that their name no longer carried any weight in the Free State, as Mark Shriver lost to Chris Van Hollen in the 8th Congressional District Democratic primary.
Bottom line: You were a fluke, Bob Ehrlich, and Maryland is back to normal — a center-right state controlled by a center-right Democratic Party. As bleak as Democratic prospects seem nationwide, so are they for the GOP in Maryland. There will be no more Republican governors here, until or unless another Kathleen Kennedy Townsend becomes the Demoocratic nominee.
©2010 Keith Berner