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Ehrlich's Running Mate Choice


The rather long-winded question that came to Gov. Robert L.Ehrlich Jr. on the "Politics Program with Mark Plotkin" on Washington Post Radio boiled down to whether his lieutenant governor candidate, Kristen Cox, was qualified to be governor and whether her disability--Cox is legally blind--played a role in Ehrlich selecting her.

Ehrlich replied with heaping dose of praise for her policy prowess, particularly her performance running the state's newly created Department of Disabilities.

"I just want to finish the last question, because I think it's a really fair, good question. In my heart of hearts, I cannot answer honestly if Kris had sight, whether she would be the person I chose. I do not know that."

Mayor Martin O'Malley's campaign pounced on the comment in a news release headlined: "Ehrlich Questions Qualifications of His LG Candidate. Choice made for politics, not qualifications."

Ehrlich pointed out that the comment came within a litany of praise and denounced the distribution of "a third of his answer" by the Democratic mayor's aides as "pitiful and insulting."

"All they want to do is try to denigrate her, and they can't," he said.

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  October 6, 2006; 6:23 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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The guess here is that Ehrlich chose Cox because she is the ultimate "Yes," girl. She has never disagreed with him on anything and never will. The intensity of support from Ehrlich and his gofer Kane is directly proportional to the number of times out of a hundred one goes along to get along.

Posted by: Moco voter | October 6, 2006 8:00 AM | Report abuse

O'Malley should be ashamed of himself for attacking the Gov's honest reply. There's no doubt in my mind that no such honest statements will ever emanate from O'Malley's office.

Posted by: Rufus | October 6, 2006 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Ehrlich flatly said he made a decision about filling an important governmental position based on politics, not qualification. Truthful or not, it isn't a statement the Governor should be praised for. What's next Rufus, praising Mark Foley for telling the truth that he molested teenagers?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse

A follow question to Ehrlich.
Did he give Cox a job at the request of his buddy Jack Abramoff? After all Cox was involved in the diebold scandal while at the NFB.

Posted by: Brian | October 6, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"Ehrlich flatly said he made a decision about filling an important governmental position based on politics, not qualification."

NO, he did NOT! He said he couldn't deny or affirm that her disability contributed to his decision. That you must lie about what he said speaks volumes to the fact that the left's greatest opponent is the truth.

Posted by: Rufus | October 6, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Another great day for Ehrlich, he got a huge boost from the endorsement by the Maryland State Police. I hear that there's a new poll out showing Ehrlich up by 4 points now.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse


The statement was "In my heart of hearts, I cannot answer honestly if Kris had sight, whether she would be the person I chose. I do not know that."

What else can be derived from that other than the fact he made the decision based on her handicap appeal? Otherwise the answer would have been a resounding yes!

Posted by: Le | October 6, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

To the poster who claims there's a poll out there with Ehrlich ahead by four points, please provide a link to the poll.

FYI, a new poll, released today, by USA Today/Gallup has Ehrlich down double digits. And check out the double-digit lead for Cardin, too. Why is it these polls match with all of the other polls released, except for the ones claim by the right-wingers? Are they like Ehrlich's running mate--blind to the actual truth?

Posted by: JD | October 6, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"What else can be derived from that other than the fact he made the decision based on her handicap appeal?"

It is very, very easy to see from that statement that her handicap was a consideration but not the deciding factor.

Bob was being honest, which is why is has the Democrats so confused.

Posted by: Rufus | October 6, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse


"Bob was being honest" . . . for once in his life, he told the truth and look at the hole he has dug himself into. He selected a running mate, who is female and blind, because he wanted to appeal to moderate, suburban women--period. Why can't he come out and say that, because that is the truth. Unfortunately, all his selection has done is create more problems, by underscoring the fact that she's not qualified--she doesn't even know the record of the Governor, his stances on some of the issues, and she's mute to say anything about her own positions. The O'Malley campaign by linking Ehrlich's comment to Cox's recent gaffes is quite a politically smart move, and you know the Republicans would do the same if it was on the other foot.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Since when is it news that Lt. Gov. runningmates are chosen for political reasons? O'Malley wasn't colorblind when he chose his runningmate. Just yesterday The Sun ran an article about the Dems concern with the lack of color on the state tickets. O'Malley's choice of runningmate involved politics just as did Ehrlich's.

Both candidates play politics. Both are running big money campaigns. Both are motivated by some level of self-interest. Too many posters are blinded by partisanship, reflecting a national trend.
It's no use arguing these tit-for-tat disagreements because in the end you're only going to win over your fellow partisans.

If this type of "issue" determines your vote, do us all a favor and stay at home on Election Day.

Posted by: Moderate Voter | October 6, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Moderate Voter makes a good point. In which case, let's compare the qualifications of Delegate Anthony Brown vs. Disabilities Secretary Kristen Cox anyday, and you'll see that if you were to judge who is more qualified, or better qualified, to be LG, than it has to be hands down Anthony Brown. The fact is, Ehrlich could have found a BETTER candidate to fit the political bill, but, because Steele was already running for Senate he couldn't nominate a right-winger or someone already elected with a right-wing track record. So, he instead the one cabinet officer with the least responsibility and ran this charade that she was the most qualified. I think the motto for the Ehrlich/Cox ticket should be the blind leading the blind, or, better yet, the blind leading the stupid.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Ehrlich admitted yesterday that he chose Kristen Cox as his running mate in part because she's blind. ""No, but do I think the fact that she cannot see, do I see that as part of a paradigm for what I want to represent? Yes," Ehrlich responded to a question about whether he picked Cox for her disability on Washington Post Radio's The Politics Program. "In my heart of hearts, I cannot answer honestly if Kris had sight, whether she would be the person I chose. I do not know that."

Ehrlich essentially admitted that he picked his running mate based on an intrinsic characteristic. Which begs the obvious: why did he angrily dismiss speculation that Lt. Gov. Michael Steele was picked for his race in the 2002 campaign?

It's no secret that candidates engage in symbolic politics when choosing running mates. Martin O'Malley was transparent about the fact that Anthony Brown bringd more than qualification and abilities; his address provides geographic balance and his blackness racial balance. Ehrlich is being honest about his motive behind the Cox choice.

Yet any suggestion that Steele found himself on the 2002 ticket because of race is vehenmously rejected as racism. Go figure.

from The League: Reassembled

Posted by: The League: Reassembled | October 6, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I think Kristen Cox is one of the most charming political personalities ever to have come along in Maryland. I am a Democrat who is voting for O'Malley but if she runs for office in the future on her own, I would definitely consider supporting her.

Posted by: Kristen Cox fan | October 6, 2006 10:12 PM | Report abuse

And thanks to little che for posting his off-topic nonsense. It does make us laugh.

Posted by: Rufus | October 8, 2006 8:22 PM | Report abuse

This whole story is such an idiotic story to begin with. Would Gov Ehrlich have hypothetically taken her if she wasn't blind? Who cares, she is blind and he did take her!

If she wasn't blind there is a high likelyhood she wouldn't have been the National Federation of the Blind's lobbyist and in turn would never have met Ehrlich let alone become his Secretary of Disabilities.

Is Plotking going to ask O'Malley if he'd have taken Anthony Brown if he wasn't black? Of course not and will O'Malley answer honestly if Plotkin did get the balls to ask, also of course not.

But these hypotheticals--not real and they can never become real--so why are we wasting time 4 weeks before an election listening to these rambling rants???

Posted by: Bryan | October 9, 2006 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Has everyone viewed on the lies in Steele's tv ads. I was actually surprised he would sink so low and try to paint himself as someone who would "change" Washington.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

If you think education in Maryland is hosed now, just wait until the colleges start slashing service if O'Malley freezes tuition as promised.

Guess he didn't get the memo that centralized economies don't work! Just ask some former economists from the former Soviet Union.

Posted by: Rufus | October 9, 2006 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if anyone will ask O'Malley if he wouldn't have chosen Brown as his running mate if he were white. Couldn't have anything to do with the fact that the last Dem LG candidate was a white Repub, which Ehrlich capitalized on by naming a black LG candidate. Oh, and I _bet_ Anthony Brown will be at the top of the ticket within four years, him being so qualified and all. Riiiiight.

O'Malley is too cynical to be guv.

Posted by: RML | October 10, 2006 8:31 PM | Report abuse

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