It’s about four minutes of commentary, but former gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy had the chance to discuss the recent election with Shari Elliker on WBAL Radio Friday.
There’s no doubt that Murphy paid as much attention to the election results as the rest of us did, and it’s not clear from the conversation that his campaign rhetoric about Bob Ehrlich being beatable wasn’t quite the “I told you so” in retrospect. Critics noted that Bob Ehrlich’s message was a little muddy in their postmortems.
But now is the time to look forward to what is and will be. Martin O’Malley has one more term to serve as governor, and it’s conceivable a number of state Democrats are playing the game of being coy about their 2014 plans while laying the groundwork for a run of their own for Government House. Anthony Brown, Peter Franchot, and Doug Gansler are naturally front and center in that conversation since they have ran and won statewide.
Meanwhile, the GOP side has its own contenders with Brian Murphy probably among them. (He was coy about this in his conversation with Elliker, but one has to believe he’s considering the prospect of seeking an open seat. We’ll see based on how much interaction he has with Republican and TEA Party groups in the coming months.)
But we can’t forget a couple other names.
The old guard establishment may well be represented by Larry Hogan, who began something of a placeholder run for Governor this year until Bob Ehrlich got in.
We also need to consider Charles Lollar, who was the beneficiary of a draft movement last year but was tripped up by residency requirements this time around based on when he first registered to vote in Maryland he was just a few months short of the five years required. Undaunted, he ran for Congress. Unless Democrats decide to push through a ten-year requirement to foil him again, he may well decide to run again IF he doesn’t win a Congressional seat first.
It’s going to be about message, though. With the strong probability of another set of tax increases or expansions for Maryland one has to wonder just how long it will be before the unaffiliated voters and thoughtful suburban Democrats realize that continually funneling more money to the state for fewer and poorer core services needs to come to a screeching halt and eventually be turned around. Given the slow pace of economic recovery, the prospect of a strong economy come 2014 can only be described as a crapshoot at best – people my age may recall that the Reagan recovery didn’t begin until his third year in office and if a Republican takes the White House in 2012 it may take that long to undo the Obama damage (even with a GOP House over his last two years.)
But I’m glad to see Brian Murphy hasn’t gone away. Maybe we should be hanging onto those yard signs.