In addition to the many issues facing our state, the high ratings of Larry Hogan are a major cause for concern. Fortunately, Hogan’s given us a lot of evidence recently to remember why he needs to be defeated in 2018. Josh Kurtz takes out the whipping stick for those who need it made more explicit.
At a time when the Maryland political community was understandably focused on last week’s primary results and associated fallout, as Democrats fretted about whether their broad but fragile coalition had been torn asunder, Hogan provided a needed reality check.
Yes, the conversation about the future of the Democratic Party, and whether veteran party leaders and officeholders are truly committed to inclusion, is worth having. And sure, there’s plenty of post-primary scorekeeping to keep political junkies’ hearts racing.
But Hogan’s speech last week before a free-market Washington, D.C., think tank called the American Action Forum may have said more about the state of Maryland politics than all the primary results combined.
The Baltimore Sun wrote a short article about Hogan’s peevish comments that he “never got a thank you” from Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) for his actions during the unrest in the city a year ago, and several other media outlets followed suit. But there was so much more in Hogan’s 50-minute appearance to chew on.
Hogan was introduced by Fred Malek, the 79-year-old Republican powerbroker, donor and corporate chieftain whose national influence extends back to the Nixon administration. Malek joked that when he heard about Hogan’s agenda and deeds, he thought people were talking about the governor of Mississippi – not the governor of a blue state like Maryland.
Hogan then launched into his standard stump speech, blaming all of the state’s ills on his Democratic predecessor, Martin O’Malley. If national Republicans can still campaign against Jimmy Carter 35 years after he left office, what is the statute of limitations on O’Malley?
Hogan then boasted about cutting taxes and eliminating “100 job-killing regulations.” He pointed out that he put the slogan “Open for Business” on “Welcome to Maryland” signs. “I think they used to say, ‘what’s in your wallet?’” he joked.
Hogan cited statistics showing favorable economic trends and a reversal in voters’ opinions on the direction of the state. And, he noted, “People with real-world experience are actually running our state agencies,” skipping over the fact that eight of his cabinet secretaries are former state legislators, while others are seasoned government bureaucrats.
Mostly, Hogan seemed overly enamored with and emboldened by his poll numbers.
Can we get moving on the process of finding a candidate to sendHogan into a well-deserved retirement?