Maryland has a deep bench of candidates who can attempt to fill Ms. Mikulski's shoes, and it's good that Mr. O'Malley has decided to leave the contest to others. With the presidential elections less than two years away, no candidate of either party has shown the bold leadership America needs now more than ever. I remember speaking with my mother from Columbia, S.C. on a January night in 2008, following the South Carolina primary victory of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. As a child arriving at the Spartanburg train station in the 1960', I would drink from the better maintained "white" water fountain. My mother, a native South Carolinian would laugh, but cautioned that I could get into trouble. My great-grandfather, a land-owning black man of substance, was never allowed to vote here in the Palmetto State. This state has changed dramatically since I spent summers here as a child. Senator Thurmond was once a staunch segregationist. Today, his seat is occupied by Tim Scott, an African-American. Another African-American, James Clyburn, represents the state's 6th Congressional District. It was his victory in South Carolina that propelled Mr. Obama to the White House.