HELEN Delich Bentley might have been shoved...


HELEN Delich Bentley might have been shoved an inch closer to a gubernatorial run by the rousing hand she received at Towson's July 4th parade. Of all the pols riding in the parade, the 2nd District Republican congresswoman got the loudest cheers.

In contrast, a man once seen as a Bentley protege, Baltimore County Executive Roger Hayden, was the only politician to be booed.

Was the crowd voicing its displeasure with Mr. Hayden's recent downsizing of the local government and layoffs of county employees? Or was it his garish Stars and Stripes necktie?

The loudest ovation of the day, however, went not to a public official but to Barney the purple PBS dinosaur.

Children stood and cried out his name: "Barrrrneeee! Barrrrneeee!" Adults, too, smiled and applauded as the Barnster passed by in the back seat of a convertible, looking for all the world like the white-hot world-beater he is.

It suggests a strange notion: Barney for Governor? If the cheers at the Towson parade are any indication, he could whip even the popular Mrs. Bentley.

And even if Mrs. Bentley runs for governor and Barney forgoes that contest, he could yet vie for the vacated 2nd District Congressional seat and probably make a darn good race of it. We certainly wouldn't bet against him.

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