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Ehrlich's Running Mate


You read it here first 29 days ago: Ehrlich's pick for a running mate is, indeed, Kristen Cox.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) announced Kristen Cox, the state's secretary of disabilities who is blind, as his running mate at a press conference in Annapolis this morning.

Ehrlich's current lieutenant governor, Michael S. Steele, is running for U.S. Senate, leaving a void on the ticket. Cox, 36, has served in Ehrlich's cabinet for the past two years.

Speculation started to focus on Cox last month, when she appeared on stage with Ehrlich during a fundraiser with President Bush. She recently updated her photo on the state's Web site; and someone yesterday secured the rights to the Web address

By Phyllis Jordan  |  June 29, 2006; 11:32 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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I honestly hope this lady Cox is the best person for the job and she has impeccable credentials. I wouldn't put it past the Republicans to put a disabled woman up for Lt. Governor in order to score points. This is politics after all...

Posted by: Mr. K | June 28, 2006 8:23 PM | Report abuse

She seems incredibly well qualified... to run the Department of Disabilities. All her experience is working for organizations dealing with visual impairment/disabilities.

What does she bring to the ticket for the average Marylander? Why take her away from Department of Disabilities, and the great work I'm sure she does there, other than to score points?

Anthony Brown, Harvard grad and war veteran, as well as Maryland delegate, is much more qualified for the job.

Posted by: James | June 28, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again, bashing a man that brings down barriers. I guess Michael Steele wasn't qualified either. Just black, right? Now it seems that Democrats too are finding qualified black running mates for thier campaign tickets when they never thought to before-why? Thanks to Ehrlich.

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself who is looking out for YOU, Democratic rhetoric or people that take action like Gov. Ehrlich.

Posted by: BG from PG | June 28, 2006 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Is she qualified to be Governor? Could she handle the job? Is she the best person to try and serve the third Republican term in a row?

Posted by: leonard | June 28, 2006 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Is she qualified to be Governor? Could she handle the job? Is she the best person to try and serve the third Republican term in a row?

Posted by: leonard | June 28, 2006 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Cox is an astute choice by a Governor who has consistently confounded the caricature and prejudice often applied to Republicans. Ehrlich is a leader. Look at how he has transformed the MD Republican Party. Loyal Republicans and free-thinking Independents and Democrats made Ehrlich's margin of victory in 2002 and we're going to do it again with Ehrlich and Cox in 2006. Together we're making history. Ehrlich's quite the white male, isn't he?

Posted by: phil | June 28, 2006 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Cox is an astute choice by a Governor who has consistently confounded the caricature and prejudice often applied to Republicans. Ehrlich is a leader. Look at how he has transformed the MD Republican Party. Loyal Republicans and free-thinking Independents and Democrats made Ehrlich's margin of victory in 2002 and we're going to do it again with Ehrlich and Cox in 2006. Together we're making history. Ehrlich's quite the white male, isn't he?

Posted by: phil | June 28, 2006 11:09 PM | Report abuse

James is right on. Mrs. Cox is very qualified... to run the Dept. of Disabilities, not to be Lieutenant Governor. You have to remember that when you run for Lt. Gov., you have to be prepared to ascend to the governorship if something happens to the current governor.

I'm sure that Kristen Cox is a wonderful person, and does her job extremely well. But, she is from the advocacy world, not the rough-and-tumble world of electoral politics. How effective could she be at helping to implement policy and lobby the Legislature when she doesn't have that kind of mindset?

And let's be completely frank here. Michael Steele was chosen to be Lieutenant Governor for one reason and one reason only: he is black. He's not a very bright guy, if you've ever heard him speak you know this, and his only claim to fame was a failed consulting business that nearly bankrupted him. Kristen Cox is being chosen to be Lieutenant Governor because she is (a) a woman and (b) blind. Ehrlich has an image problem with a lot of people, which is that he's a jerk. He's a mean, nasty person, and what better than someone like Cox to try to soften that image? I find it ironic that despite all of the moaning and complaining Republicans do about affirmative action, they sure are good at promoting candidates based on anything but merit.

Posted by: Harold | June 29, 2006 9:10 AM | Report abuse

It's amusing when the radical left's hatred for white males spills over to the candidates running mate, even when they aren't white (as in Steele's case) or male (as in Cox's case).

No matter, though. Bob's alienated a good portion of his base by turning his back on family values and he won't win in November.

Posted by: Rufus | June 29, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I am guessing that James and Harold don't know anything about Mrs. Cox, and are jumping to conclusions about her and her capabilities. Let's give her a chnace on the campaign trail to hear what she has to say and how well she handles this initial foray into politics. Maybe she'll surprise everyone, as most folks do if given a chance to excel. As for Lt Gov Steele, I have heard him speak on many occassions, and find him to be a great speaker, and very bright. He has been a strong Lt Gov, and will make an excellent Senator.

Posted by: Dave | June 29, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Not a cynical choice? He picks a conservative African-American the first time. Now a blind woman. Breaking barriers or using visible symbols? What matter are his policies. And in the long run, what affect does the lieutenant governor have on the governor's policies? This was a campaign manager's choice. Try to find someone the other side can't attack (then they'd be attacking a blind woman!). When the GOP nominated Alan Keyes in Illinois were they doing it to break down barriers or because their opponent was also black? When Ehrlich defeated a woman 4 years ago did it mean a reinforcement of barriers? Ms. Cox may or may not be qualified. What matters most is whether Ehrlich should be reelected. W

Posted by: Steve | June 29, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

This woman is in no way qualified to hold public office. As Secretary of Disabilites this transplant from Utah and former Bush appointee has done nothing but help slash state budgets for agencies assisting disabled people. Last year she attempted to move blindness rehab from DORS to her own department simply to increase her fiefdom. For the most part the word is out on her in the disability community and the word is "Uncle Tom."

Posted by: Bob | June 29, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Dave: Steele "has been a strong Lt Gov"

Quite a claim, seeing as how the Maryland Lieutenant Governor has ZERO official duties.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | June 29, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Re: Loudon voter....

If the LG has no official duties then how in the world would one be qualified to be LG or not and how would one evaluate whether they had been great or terrible?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 29, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

i see...

Posted by: shabbyhumor | June 29, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Maryland LG: Read the state constitution. The LG in MD has NO duties other than being ready to step in if the Gov can't serve.

So, the ONLY qualification for the job is to be capable of serving as governor if need be.

Therefore, it's impossible to evaluate Steele's or anyone else's performance as LG unless that person has to take over as Gov, since the LG literally has NOTHING else to officially do. You can evaluate whatever else the person did while serving as LG but that's a different matter.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | June 29, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey Harold, you don't like Cox as the Governor's choice for LG?

OK then, let me ask the question the way a Democrat would ask it:

Do you hate all women, or just blind ones?

Posted by: JD | June 29, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone here prove Ms. Cox lacks the ability to serve as Gov? No, didn't think so.

And I have to laugh at the "slashing budgets" mantra! Did the department she headed meet its obligations, yes or no? If yes, then she did the job while costing the taxpayers less money.

Doesn't matter though 'cause Bob's on his way out.

Posted by: Rufus | June 29, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"So, the ONLY qualification for the job is to be capable of serving as governor if need be."

Her only experience with government, politics, and management is a twenty person specialized department for a couple years? From what I've read on the newspaper sites, I don't think she would be a capable Governor, and its not because she is blind.

Posted by: James | June 29, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Fellow Democrats,
Why are you jumping to conclusions about this women's ability. Not one of you know well enough her capabilities as LG- only time will tell.
If Ehrlich appoints a conservative as LG, we blame him for not trying to appease the other side. If he appoints a blind woman, he's just a corrupt, politically driven bigot. There is no "right" appointee that these radical left democrats of Maryland could ever be satisfied with, or even respect.

Posted by: Matt | June 29, 2006 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Those who have been around for whiel know I am no fan of O'Malley (I supported Duncan). But I must say I am dismayed by the bias of The Washington Post. I purposely kept the newspapers from when O'Malley picked his running mate, Duncan picked his running mate, and obviously today's edition with Ehrlich picking his running mate.

For O'Malley and Duncan, The Post put the story about this inside of the Metro section, page B3 for O'Malley and Page B5 for Ducan. however, Ehrlich gets front page treatment in the Metro section for his choice. Phyllis, can you ask your editors why they are using different standards for Republican and Democratic stories? If you were willing to bury O'Malley's and Duncan's running mate selection inside the Metro section, you should have done the same with Ehrlich's. I guess we know who The Washington Post will be supporting this year.

Posted by: Fred | June 30, 2006 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Duncan and O'Malley's running mates each got a Metro front story (either when we found out their names or when they were formally announced) and another story inside Metro. Plus Duncan and O'Malley each got a Metro front story when they announced their own candidacy.

Ehrlich gets one combined A1 piece when he announces his candidacy and we find out his running mate. Is that equity? I don't know.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | June 30, 2006 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, O'Malley. I like to call O'Malley Clinton lite, baby Clinton, or mini-Clinton. O'Malley is definitely a "dumbed down" version of his hero, and has the Clintonesque style down to a "T". Check out his narcissistic rant about me, me, me, me at his alma mater commencement address to graduates at Gonzaga High School in 2002. It is well worth the read.

Posted by: rob | June 30, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Phyllis, but that is just dead wrong. I have the actual papers sitting in front of me and both stories for O'Malley and Duncan were located inside the paper the day after the announcement. I get the Mryland edition of the paper delivered every morning.

Posted by: Fred | June 30, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

From Nexis
O'Malley's Lt. Gov. Pick Sends A Message; Choice Affirms Pr. George's Clout, The Washington Post, December 13, 2005 Tuesday, Final Edition, Metro; B01

Del. Brown Accepts Spot On O'Malley State Ticket, The Washington Post, December 9, 2005 Friday, Final Edition, Metro; B03

Del. Brown Is Called Top O'Malley Pick; On Ticket, He Could Lure Key Prince George's Votes, The Washington Post, December 3, 2005 Saturday, Final Edition, Metro; B01,

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | June 30, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Apparently I do not have the "FINAL EDITION" for either paper. My papers say MARYLAND HOME EDITION" at the top right corner and the stories do not match what you have shown. I guess the "MARYLAND HOME EDITION" is different than the "FINAL EDITION" you referenced in your response.

If that is the case, then I apologize, but there appears to be different versions of the Washington Post sent out to homes than the "FINAL EDITION"

Posted by: Fred | June 30, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Could you have a paper from Va. or D.C.? That would account for the difference

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | June 30, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Fred, are you out of your mind? The Washington Post lends its unwaivering support to Duncan, O'Malley or any other Democrat out there.

Don't worry if O'Malley didn't get a front page article when he chose his running mate, the Post's editors systematically skew words in an attempt to psychologically turn off readers to Republicans.

They spin headlines to read "Republicans attack", when Democrats merely "challange" and when Republicans "woo voters", Democrats "see oppurtunities". Knowing that many readers only scan headlines, the best way to influence the minds of the masses is to spin headlines. They do it everyday.

Today's HEADLINE is "Analysis-Guantanamo Decision Strikes at Bush's Core". Is it commonplace for a newspaper to run an op-ed piece as a front page headline? Or is this only done at the Post? Thank god the Post is here to "analyze" the news for us. I guess they feel as if none of us have minds of our own.

Fred, referring to your comment " I guess we know who The Washington Post will be supporting this year", back in 2004 I remember a frontpage headline that read "Kerry for President-The Washington Post Endorses John Kerry". Have you ever seen a Republican endorsed by the Post?

...and just what the hell does "endorses" mean anyway? I welcome an answer because I don't know, other than the fact that they continually try to beat the opponent of the endorsee down-and it's always a Republican, no matter how qualified they are. Shouldn't a mainstream media outlet step aside from their own political ideaology and just report the news?

Posted by: BG from PG | June 30, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

BG if you want news with no spin go see the Reuters website. If you're looking for Republican "news" then go check out Fox News. If you want left wing news and opinions check out the Huffington Post or The Washington Post does not defer to the Democrats as nearly as much as you're complaining about. I've seen numerous news articles on the post that I felt were pandering to the right. In fact, I think the Post swings to the right (especially the editorial staff) more than they do the left. Are you whining about the imaginary "left wing media?" Give me a break...

Oh, and you want to know why the Post endorses Democrats like Kerry? It's because they're better for this country. The Republicans have done a real bang up job so far!

Posted by: Mr. K | June 30, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Mr K., you're right, a bang up job of preventing another terrorist attack by OBL-who was allowed to foster under Clinton. Clinton's heavy-handed approach sure worked in Somalia didn't it?

You're probably one of these delusional people that think Bush is personally monitoring your check card activity too, right? You people will never get it. We're all lucky that you're not in power.

Posted by: BG From PG | June 30, 2006 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Hah, ok whatever you say BG. I don't think it's Bush's policies that have prevented another terrorist attack, I think we've just been damn lucky. I hope that luck continues! After all, we have zero port security and millions of containers coming into our ports without being inspected. Any one of those could contain a bio or nuclear weapon. Yes, Bush co. is doing a great job at securing our borders and containers!And wait, how many of the recommendations from the 9/11 commission has Bush co. undertaken? Yeah, my point is proven.

Anyway, under Clinton we had peace and prosperity. The same can't be said about Bush and his band of corporate advisors. We have more Americans living in poverty than ever and more children (and adults) without healthcare. We have corporations making state policy decisions (hello Cheney's "Energy Task Force") and great "leadership" when natural disaster strikes (Katrina). So go ahead and bash Clinton until the cows come home. Things were better then and will continue to get worse until the iron fisted Republican exploitation machine is halted.

Posted by: Mr. K | June 30, 2006 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Peace yes, but only on the surface. After the Embassy and USS Cole bombings, no one realized that gee, these people are out to kill us-asleep at the wheel. Let's fire a few Tomahawks at a medical lab in Sudan, that'll teach 'em. Great policy. Worked real well, didn't it? No.

Prosperty, no. The tech stock bubble bursted on Clinton's watch (March of 2000 wasn't it?). Everyone conveniently forgets that fact, don't they? Yes.

What health care plan do Democrats have anyway? They always bang the drum about health care but it seems they have no real solution either, do they? No.

On to Katrina. It's very arrogant and ignorant to think that just because the US is a "superpower", it is somehow immune to a natural disaster. That attitude is just what Europeans loathe but here you go feeding it. (Which the Post is also reporting with the unfortunate military tribunal ruling). Have you seen the photograph of all those flooded school buses in New Orleans? Why weren't they mobilized? Good question for Mayor Nagin-one he can't answer. So, in steps the Feds with the largest airlift operation ever conducted on US soil. Rebuilding New Orleans will take years and no, Bush didn't build those levees (or have them dynamited after Katrina rolled through as I've heard one moron say).

So many complaints and so little solutions from Democrats. Complacency with terrorists is not an option. As Tony Snow put it so eloquently this week, "do the rights of a few people to know trump the rights of people to live?" What scares me is people like you that think this administration is more dangerous than Al Qaeda.

Peace? Pulling troops out of Iraq will not give us peace. It will only give us the "peace" that we drunkenly enjoyed in the Clinton years. Face it, Islamic extremists want to kill us, Republican or Democrat.

Posted by: BG From PG | July 1, 2006 2:15 AM | Report abuse

BG, I'm not going to stop you from living in the insulated Republican fantasy land bubble. You are woefully uninformed about the Democrats. They have plans regarding bodrer security, the energy crisis, and healthcare among other issues. If you don't want to hear them (because Fox News and other right wing media outlets don't cover them) and would like to purposefully remain ignorant, that's you're right. Bush has no plan. The Republicans are owned by corporations and couldn't give a lick about the American public. Keep on believing that Bush will make everything OK. At least one of us will sleep well at night...

Posted by: Mr. K | July 1, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Mr. K. I get all my news from Fox. That's why I'm posting comments on the, a strong number 3 in left leaning news outlets behind the NY and LA Times. I'm a free thinking individual that can read and interperit biased coverage on both sides and still make an objective opinion. You, however, contend that the Washington Post doesn't lean to the left. Give me a break.

If you think for one minute Democrats are going to take on big oil companies, you're sadly mistaken. They live in their back pockets too. You're correct by implying that Washington is an imperfect place but Democrats are on the take from special interest groups just like everyone else.

Isn't it interesting that Michael Steele has a plan to change this business as usual? He has Democrats and Republicans alike squirming in their chairs over some of his proposals for lobbying reform. What breathe of fresh air will Cardin or Mfume bring? Nothing, except for the same old knee-jerk, mindless, go along with the Party line vote mentality that Sarbanes and Mikulski have had for years. Time for a change.

Posted by: BG from PG | July 1, 2006 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. K, ever heard of person-first language?

On the Baltimore Sun's forums, several O'Malley supporters referenced Mrs. Cox as a 'token blind white woman.' The unfortunate truth is that some elements of politics will sink to any low to bash someone, even if it means prejudicial commentary that has no place at the table.

Cox has a great record from being NFB's chief lobbyist to being Secretary of the Department of Disabilities in Maryland. She'll be a great Lt. Governor and I look forward to voting for her name alongside Governor Ehrlich's name.

Posted by: Bryan | July 2, 2006 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I would like to state that i am an unafiliated voter and I have lived in Maryland all of my life however, I know Sec. Kristen Cox rather Well.
I am a member of the the Maryland Youth Leadership Forum, an organization for high school students with disabilities to provide them with training and experiences, role models, and mentors to assist them in becoming tomorrow's leaders, I attended last year and I had the oppurtunity to hear Secratary Cox speak about her blindness as well as her future for Maryland, and what it means to have a diability in America.
I know for a fact that she is capable of not only running the Department of Disabilities but she undoubtedly very qualified to be Maryland's LG.
I am also a member of the National Federation of the Blind and as a member I have found that most of the organization backs her. I have spoken with Sec. Cox on many different occasions privately in her office and I know her background.
I believe in the work that she and Governor Ehrlich are doing. As an Afican American who is also blind, it truely sickens me to think that people's misconceptions still rule and reign over knowledge, logic and facts, just because she is blind and has worked with the NFB and other disability organizations doesn't mean or imply or even deduce the notion that she is incapable of doing what needs to be done for the state of Maryland.

Posted by: Andre Hill from Anne Arundel Co. | July 30, 2006 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Had an opportunity to interview Mr. Brown last week on WQMR 101.1 in Ocean City, Md. He is very impressive. Intelligent, articulate, a leader. Why does Ehrlich pick people who have never been elected and have no experience? Just because someone is blind or black doesn't mean there is diversity on the ticket. You've got to look beyond color and view how that person thinks. Republicans are playing the gender and disability card here. It's sad. Looking strictly at qualifications neither Steele nor Ms. Cox can hardly even be mentioned in the same breath with Mr. Brown. Many of the Republican AAs or women are too liberal to be included on their tickets so they pick placeholders who are beholden to the party bosses. Ehrlich has tried to be everything to everyone at the same moment and has lost himself in the process. I'll bet Ms. Cox is a devout Christian who is against stem cell research and abortion and sides with big business at almost every turn. Bob, pick someone who will shake things up and stop being such a toady for the national party. I know if you win you'll get a shot at VP in 08 but please man grow a spine.

Posted by: Beltway Greg | August 23, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

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