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Ehrlich the Prognosticator


Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) played political pundit yesterday during an interview on Washington Post Radio and sized up some of the statewide contests on the ballot this fall.

Not suprisingly, Ehrlich predicted that his lieutenant governor, Michael S. Steele (R), would win Maryland's open U.S. Senate seat.

But the governor hedged when asked whether Steele is more likely to face Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) or former congressman and NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume (D) in the fall.

"At this time last year, I would have said Ben Cardin, hands down, not even close," Ehrlich said. But now, he said, "I think it's going to be very close. ..... Mfume is a very relevant candidate in this race. ..... Mfume is not going to have the organization, he is not going to have the money, but he is a very dangerous candidate. He's an incredibly articulate person."

Ehrlich also took a pass on which candidate Steele would be better off facing, offering only that "a chopped up Democratic nominee, regardless of who it is, is good for Mike."

In the Democratic primary for attorney general, Ehrlich said that Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas Gansler is "ahead clearly because he has the money."

But Ehrlich also put in a good word for Baltimore lawyer Stuart O. Simms, calling him "a real class guy, a real bright guy."

Ehrlich was more definite about the Democratic primary for comptroller, in which incumbent William Donald Schaefer has drawn two challengers, Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens and Del. Peter Franchot (D-Montgomery).

"Schaefer's almost impossible to beat with a three-way race," Ehrlich predicted
John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  July 8, 2006; 7:25 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Next: The Real Steele


Did Ehrlich forget to predict his impedending defeat?

Posted by: Bryan | July 8, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Governor Bob's prediction in the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate reminds me of the American motorcyclist I saw get hit by a streetcar in Stockholm in l964. The guy was on the tracks looking right to see what was coming. He forgot that in Sweden vehicles go the opposite way they do in the States. Bob is looking at the guys he served with in Congress. He is about to be blindsided by the Josh Rales TV campaign.

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Independent for Montgomery County Executive | July 8, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The Baltimore Sun had an editorial on Friday that pretty much said "Schaefer is an embarrassment and needs to go." And Senate President Mike Miller is trying to get Democratic leaders with their own machines (such as himself, Al Wynn, Steny Hoyer) to rally around one of the other candidates in the race and get the third to drop out.

Janet Owens, please drop out now. Peter Franchot is in the best position to beat Schaefer. He has the money. He has every major endorsement. He has the ideas to do the job.

Ms. Owens, if you don't drop out now then you might be the reason we have to hear demeaning comments about everyone who isn't an old, heterosexual white male by someone who is both an embarrassment and unfit to do the actual job.

Posted by: drop out, Janet Owens | July 8, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Delegate Franchot has done nothing in 20 years in the General Assembly. Why would anyone support him? And why should Owens be the one to drop out? Even assuming the undemocratic premise, she's way ahead of Franchot. Both in the polls and in actual accomplishment.

They both should drop out anyway--William Donald Schaefer has them both beat in accomplishment, management, putting the best interests of Maryland and taxpayers first, and, well, character.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2006 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Funny that someone stole my name to make the first post here. You O'Malley people can't get much more pathetic can you?

Why would Ehrlich predit his impending defeat if he knows it isn't going to happen? I'd like an O'Malley supporter to explain to us why the Mayor stands behind sales tax and income tax increases to balance the budget. Landslide for Ehrlich this fall.

Did anyone see Franchot asked why would a Korean-American CEO move his business to MD after Schaefer's comments? Well, why would a CEO move his company to MD period after the insanely anti-business trends in the MGA spear-headed by Franchot???

Posted by: Bryan | July 9, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Landslide for Ehrlich this fall? Give me a break. And Franchot is anti-business? He's a pragmatic progressive, not a pie-in-the-sky leftist Green. People in his district actually thought he was pro-business enough to bring Ralph Nader to campaign against him in 2002. The Green Party candidate in his district was his strongest challenger that year. Just goes to show that you can't pigeon hole him into some ideological corner.

Republicans are so desperate to attack Democrats, you guys are just grasping at straws. After this year, you will realize that this is a Democratic state, and Ehrlich's utter failure as governor, and Michael Steele's stunning ineptness aren't going to fly here. My recommendation? Start looking to move to Idaho if having right-wing rubber-stamp Republicans at every level of government will make you happy.

Posted by: Kenneth | July 9, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Heard that Doug Gansler was in Washington County (near Hagerstown), Frederick and in Cambridge yesterday. Glad to see he can both raise the money needed to win in a statewide race and appreciate that the voters of Maryland are spread out throughout our great state!

Posted by: Attorney General News: Maryland is a Big State | July 9, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Ehrlich will win. Really no doubt about it. O'Malley has too much scandal, baggage and arrogance that he becomes repugnant.
As for Franchot, anyone remember Mike Miller calling him "some little #@$hole"?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2006 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I'll never cast a vote for Schaefer again. If he wins the primary, I'm voting for the Republican.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2006 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"And Franchot is anti-business? He's a pragmatic progressive, not a pie-in-the-sky leftist Green. People in his district actually thought he was pro-business enough to bring Ralph Nader to campaign against him in 2002. The Green Party candidate in his district was his strongest challenger that year. Just goes to show that you can't pigeon hole him into some ideological corner."

Sure you can. He's a raging leftist. The fact that he was challenged from his left by Naderites doesn't disprove that. It just proves that Naderites are so far left they have two left hands, and that his constitutents think they live in the suburbs of Moscow instead of the suburbs of DC.

Posted by: Brandon | July 9, 2006 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Ehrlich will lose, Steele will win as will Shaefer so long as he stays in the race.

Posted by: Rufus | July 10, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Have these two campaigns even spoken? I am supporting Franchot but am starting to worry they really will cancel out and Schaefer will win. Owens and Franchot should come together and figure out a solution.

Posted by: Owens and Franchot | July 10, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I think Ehrlich/O'Malley is a tossup, and Ehrlich knows that.

Elsewhere, the Democratic nominee (whoever it is) will likely be the next Senator, and I think Stu Simms is the frontrunner for Attorney General and Don Schaefer for Comptroller, though more outbursts/gaffes could change that; if he falters I think Janet Owens wins.

Posted by: MHK919 | July 10, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I live in Prince George's county. In my neighborhood everyone knows who Peter Franchot is. Ninety percent have never heard of Janet Owens (try it at work. Unless you live in Anne Arundel county, you'll see).

She needs to decide if she's willing to risk that her third place finish may mean the re-election of Schaefer. Or if she will drop out to increase the chances that we will see the end of these embarrassing, demeaning, and often incoherent tirades from Schaefer.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2006 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Owens won't be finishing third. She actually has a record of accomplishment, as opposed to the other challenger. She's also not in single-digits in the polls.

She won't be finishing first, either. The Comptroller has a substantial record of accomplishment at all levels of government, and respect across the political spectrum. Despite the fact that some "leaders" want him out for reasons of their own, and despite his recent gaffes (well, gaffe, really, to most people), the only ones upset about these issues are the pantywaists who wouldn't have voted for him anyway.

William Donald Schaefer will win the primary, and he will win more votes than any other Marylander on election day. Just like he did four years ago.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2006 10:05 PM | Report abuse

A pragmatic progressive....that's a funny attempt at spin. Franchot's down the line anti-bus and that's pretty hard to debate. Can we do a vote by vote to prove this? I'd be glad to entertain that.

Franchot is represenative of where he comes from--one of the most liberal districts in Maryland that includes parts of Takoma Park. His previous campaign manager was a well known union activist (T Daly). His current staff include several vocally anti-bus individuals. And his record is pretty indicative.

Posted by: Bryan | July 12, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Well what will O'Malley take credit for next. He took credit for halting the BGE rates and will halt all increases in college tuition (so are top colleges will lose rankings due to Prof.'s leaving for higher pay elsewhere.
O'Malley should stick to fudging the crime numbers in Baltimore City and having developers by his girlfriend a $750,000 condo. Or take emminent domain over a building pay $850,000 for it have the city do some renovations and then sell it to his buddy for $350,000 when the property was appraised at 1 Million.
Please wake up I'm a Dem. and see this crap and am fed up with this status Quo. Sure I can't back Bush, but what's right is right.

Posted by: Doug | August 19, 2006 12:32 AM | Report abuse

If Martin O'Malley should beat Ehrlich this November (Which I fear is likely), the surplus will vanish. And O'Malley will go down in history after serving one or two terms as Governor of Maryland as another Parris Glendenning (aka Spendenning). When Parris left office in 2003, he left the State of Maryland with a significant deficit. He also left Prince George's County with a deficit after leaving his post as County Executive following his VERY NARROW win over Sauerbrey in 94. Martin is another tax and spend Liberal who will do for the State of Maryland what he has done for Baltimore City (Just like his predecessor, Kurt Schmoke). I am no big supporter of the GOP, and have long become disillusioned with the Bush administration, but I will NEVER be a supporter of Liberal Democrats like O'Malley.

Posted by: RMM | September 18, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley is a true visionary. He will run right over Ehrlich, wins it pretty easily.

Posted by: rob | October 2, 2006 8:40 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley a visionary? Right, just like Parris Glendenning. And look what happened to the State of Maryland after eight years as Governor. A NICE BIG DEFECIT! I am no big fan of the Republicans, but Ehrlich turned Parris' defecit into a surplus. But I guess that means nothing to die-hard Liberal Democrats like Rob.

Posted by: SC | October 3, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

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