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Mother Hubbard and the Dog

If Janet Owens is "Mother Hubbard" of fairy tale fame, does that make William Donald Schaefer the "poor dog" ?

Schaefer, 84, told Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher in comments published yesterday that Owens, the Anne Arundel County executive, is a "prissy little miss" who wears "long dresses, looks like Mother Hubbard -- it's sort of like she was a man." Schaefer made similar comments in a taped interview with News Channel 8. "She's got these long clothes on and an old fashioned hair-do," he said. "You know it sort of makes you real mad."

That sort of made Owens real mad, as it turns out, and she responded in a public statement, calling Schaefer's remarks "coarse and insulting."

Owens, 62, acknowledged in a recent interview that it has been difficult to run against Schaefer, who she has considered a friend. "I don't want to be unkind to someone who's meant so much to Maryland," she said. "But he can't be demeaning to people."

Schaefer, she added, is "unaware of the impact of his words. He's his own worst enemy."

Schaefer has already drawn criticism for staring at the back side of a young female aide to Governor Robert E. Ehrlich Jr. and suggesting that Korean immigrants were connected to recent missile tests by North Korea, just a few of the blunt remarks that have complicated his re-election bid.

But Johns Hopkins University political scientist Matthew Crenson said the latest Schaefer remarks risked alienating an important part of his remaining core constituency - senior citizens, in particular female ones. "There are a lot of Mother Hubbards," he said.

Steve Vogel

By Phyllis Jordan  |  September 6, 2006; 6:03 AM ET
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What does this stuff have to do with collecting taxes and awarding state contracts on the Board of Public Works?

Posted by: Comptroller viewer | September 6, 2006 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh I see, it's OK for Owens, the Queen of Sprawl, to call Schaefer old and use "It's time for him to go" as her slogan, but when he defends himself and says something about her then she's offended! Poor Janet! So typical of her and how she treats her "friends"! One only has to see how many CEO's she has had, I think 9 is the current number, to see just how loyal she is to her staff and her loyal subjects of AA County! Watch out for this Queen of Sprawl Maryland!!!!!

Posted by: AA taxpayer | September 6, 2006 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Way to go Janet! As a woman and a taxpayer, I have been turned off Mr. Schaefer because of his unacceptable comments. He should retire or keep this type of comment to himself.

Posted by: Woman Voter | September 6, 2006 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Schaefer's personal style, which seems to vary from abrasive at best to abusive at worst, has to interfere with his effectiveness at some point. I find ironic his plaint about a lack of civility in modern society. Maryland voters have alternatives, and it is time for them to look closely at them.

Posted by: Just watchin from Va. | September 6, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I believe that the Washington Post is an objective news source, whose writers have no political agenda. They are professionals who keep their own opinions out of the paper, thus upholding the time-honored standards of their profession.

(/sarcasm off)

Posted by: Mr. C | September 6, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I continue to be dismayed at our elder statesman's utter lack of civility and dignity. He's an embarrassment to us all.

If I recall correctly, Ole Mother Hubbard was someone we all respected as children. God Bless Ms. Owens and all she'll do for us as our next Comptroller!!

Posted by: Wilson Browning IV | September 6, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Schaeffer's title shouldn't be Comptroller, it should be Comptrolleeeeeeerrr!!

Posted by: Rita Franke | September 6, 2006 10:09 AM | Report abuse

WDS is entertaining, if nothing else. I understand he is a real SOB to brief, but he is entertaining. I'm glad I don't live in Maryland though.

Posted by: Dad of 2 | September 6, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Schaefer's a real jerk. He needs to go.

Posted by: ClevelandParker | September 6, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Schaefer should resign right now! Owens has earned the hearts and minds of Maryland voters and deserves to be our comptroller more than ever. She will be an absolutely wonderful asset to out state. Schaefer is killing his legacy and its sad to watch, he should have retired long ago, or atleast withdrawn himself from this race so that Owens would have a clear-cut victory over that other lobbyist that is running too. Owens has my vote for sure!

Posted by: Chuck s | September 6, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Scheafer is a disgusting pig of an individual. Talk about senile, hes outright crazy. This reinforces my belief that we need to elect more women into office. Janet Owens now has my household vote for comptroller.

Posted by: Hector | September 6, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

As Schaefer's day in the sun sets, I am happy that Janet Owens will succeed him. She will bring balance, grace and class to the office of Comptroller - in the same manner that Louis Goldstein did. Depsite the attacks from both of her competitors she has handled herself with dignity - thus differentiating herself from the other "candidates".

Posted by: sharkey | September 6, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I agre with sharkey completely. Janet Owens will be a sound comptroller, much in the shadow of good 'ol Louie G. Scheafer was good while he lasted, but his days are over. I think Janet Owens has handled herself impeccably throughout this entire nasty campaign as she is the only one to have continually focused entirely on herself, her credentials and her vision. I applaud her, and she will receive my vote definitely.

Posted by: Alyssa | September 6, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Why is there a Maryland Moment but not a Virginia View?

Posted by: Bob Lee | September 6, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It's called the Richmond Report.
We're big on alliteration.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | September 6, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid that Franchot and Owens are going to split the "no to Schaefer" vote next week, allowing him to move on to the general election in November.

I'm so thoroughly disgusted by the continued, embarassing remarks of Schaefer, that if he wins in the primary, this liberal Democrat won't think twice in November and will vote for the Republican, no matter who it is.

Posted by: corbett | September 6, 2006 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"It's called the Richmond Report.
We're big on alliteration."

But not on parallel construction.
The analogue to Richmond Report would be Annapolis Alert or some such thing.

Posted by: Bob Lee | September 6, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Janet Owens is the only candidate that can actually beat Schaefer. A vote for Franchot=a vote for Schaefer. Its that simple. Franchot has never been able to beat Schaefer, Owens can however. So vote for Owens, and tell everyone you possibly can to do that same. Its the only way to restore integrity back to the comptrollers office.

Posted by: PG | September 6, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

PG, or anyone else... are there any recent poll numbers for the comptroller race? Right now, I'm pretty confident in my prediction - franchot and owens will split the vote, giving schaefer an unfortunate victory and four more years of embarassing the people of the state of maryland with crude and ignorant remarks.

Posted by: corbett | September 6, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The most recent poll came from channel 9, which showed Owens winning with 42%, followed by Schaefer with 35% and Franchot staying at the inevitable 15%. Vote Owens for change.

Posted by: kerry | September 6, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, if you can't beat Schaeffer on the issues, just call him a pig and maybe one of your incompetent worry bags ( Franchot or Owens ) will win. What red blooded American male doesn't check out women and think Owens is loud mouthed old lady and that Franchot is just another Takoma Park lefty who lost his mind in experiments in the 1960s.

Posted by: PostPropaganda | September 6, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

This is funny. The man feels that the woman is frightening because she wears long skirts and "old-fashioned" hairstyles? Ooooh, Scarrrry.....

Posted by: okey dokey | September 6, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Franchot is the one to beat. He has the Post endorsement, the Sun endorsement, and is generally regarded as the most competent of the three by people who have actually looked at their records and abilities.

Posted by: MD Voter | September 6, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Franchowens = toast on Tuesday.

Posted by: x | September 6, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Right on x! DRY toast.

Posted by: mercury | September 6, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Okay so he's acting loopy. (Marc certainly brings out the "best" in his interviewees. Quite the revealing scoop.) Its amazing that Schaeffer gets away with this nonsense and gets to keep his job. Its time for him to retire to private life. I also find it interesting that Schaeffer seems to love Gov. Erhlich. Is it a case of Birds of a feather flocking together?
(Also, How can you be a Miss Priss and a man at the same time and why would anyone say something like that in the first place? Perhaps he meant he was going mad, not that it made him mad.)

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I doubt that Owens will ever ask any tough questions about the spending of OUR money. The Comptroller's job is all about OUR money.

Posted by: Owens watcher | September 6, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The comptroller's job is not one for on the job training. Schaeffer had been Comptroller and Governor. Has Owens been a legislator? Is she a CPA?

Posted by: Owens watcher II | September 6, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Schaefer's oversight of maryland state employees pension funds has been a joke. Not only has he attended less than half of the board meetings, which he chairs, the funds have performed in the bottom quintile of state pension funds nationally. He has only minded the store for his cronies. He's the real crook.

Janet Owens has run a county whose budget was larger than that of Baltimore City during Schaefer's tenure for eight years and her county's fiscal situation has been largely acknowledged as the best in the state. She's the real professional and the only candidate with the budgetary experience and fiscal wisdom to restore the dignity and fiscal prudence that Louis Goldstein brought to the office of Comptroller.

Posted by: Schaefer watcher 35 | September 6, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

My mother ran the finances in our house and did a great job!! You go GIRL!! You got my vote for sure!

Posted by: Clara B | September 6, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Fact: Owens started this one by calling for Schaefer to retire saying he was a "old man who reminded her of her grandfather"! Well my grandfather is a CEO with a very well off company and I trust him with my money..not the Queen of Sprawl who laid off police officers because she was mad at the County Council. Let us not forget that she hasn't spoken to the Mayor of Annapolis for 5 years because she, the Queen, couldn't rule her!
Go Willie Don and keep up the good work!

Posted by: Noway to Qween | September 6, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

You people are too funny. Owens didnt start anything. Schaefer, again, lost control of himself and went into a personal rant about her style, her weight, her family. It was undeserved and unprovoked. You fool nobody; you are some franchot supporter from montgomery county who posts the same things over and over using the same premise under different names, "fact:" Get over yourself. Owens deserves our vote and september 12th, she will get it.
p.s. the mayor of annapolis has nothing to do with anyone. Noone has to talk to her, shes an egotistical maniac, why WOULD anyone speak with her?

Posted by: julie | September 6, 2006 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I doubt any senior citizen women supporters of Schaefer will lose any sleep over it. The country is becoming way too boring and diluted with political correctness. We need Schaefer.

Posted by: BG from PG | September 6, 2006 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Schaeffer is a disaster.

On another topic: Why hasn't the Post, the Baltimore Sun, or anyone done a SINGLE article looking at Stuart Simms's record as a public official? We hear about Gansler's reprimand about 5 times a day in the press. But not a word about Simms's role in establishing the Boot Camps for juveniles that turned into one of the most horrific experiments in juvenile justice ever known. Not a word about Simms's presiding over a Maryland prison system that was a cesspool of constitutional violations, drawing the attention and enforcement of the Department of Justice. Not a word about the ineffectiveness of his State's Attorney's terms, when crime soared in Baltimore.

We hear that Simms held these jobs. We don't hear the truth: he was, to put it charitably, utterly incompetent and ineffective.

You political reporters need to do your job.

Posted by: Off Topic | September 6, 2006 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Julie needs to listen to her Queen! Even the Queen of Sprawl, Janet Owens admits that she started it when she called Mr. Schaefer "a grandfather who needs to give up the car keys"! Get a life Julie and try READING ALL of the information instead of just the stuff that suits you!
The FACTS ARE THE FACTS: Owens laid off our first responders, the police officers, in Anne Arundel County! I challenge you to tell me of any other county in the United States that has laid off police officers since the World Trade Center attack! MD watch out for this Queen of Sprawl!!!

Posted by: noway queen | September 7, 2006 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Those of us who know Ms. Owens, the Queen of Sprawl, know her for her Machiavellianism...enough said!!!!

Posted by: AA Taxpayer | September 7, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of royalty, I feel like King Don Schaefer and his Court of Fools have been around too long....let's be sure to push them OUT!!


Posted by: Coro---nation for me | September 7, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Noway queen-
you are a blithering idiot. Have fun trailing the pack with your 15%, one million $ later. Get a life. And learn the truth.

Posted by: julie | September 7, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree w/ the Post and Sun. I'm voting for Franchot because I believe that he would be the best Comptroller.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I know the facts hurt Julie but I am not the one who laid off the police officers in Anne Arundel County..your queen of sprawl, Janet Owens, did! It is a FACT and I am sorry that FACTS seem to get in your way!!! Wake up and smell the scam girl!

Posted by: noway queen | September 7, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

You've got to admit, Ms. Owens does look more like a Schaefer contemporary than a Franchot contemporary.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2006 7:14 PM | Report abuse

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