Advertisement
Dan Rodricks

Dan Rodricks: Nobody but nobody picked Ivan Bates to do so well against Marilyn Mosby | COMMENTARY

Nobody asked me, but any bystander who says they saw Ivan Bates leading Marilyn Mosby in the Democratic primary for Baltimore State’s Attorney going into the final count is a big liar-liar-pants-on-fire kinda liar. All predictions I heard had the incumbent drawing about the same level of support that she drew in 2018, with Bates and Thiru “Third Time’s A Bomb” Vignarajah splitting the rest. Bates’ showing is a welcome surprise.

Nobody asked me, but, however disappointed, Mosby should feel relief with a loss in the primary. That outcome would allow her to devote her full attention to beating the federal rap.

Advertisement

Nobody asked me, but, before he starts gearing up for the next campaign, somebody should tell Vignarajah about the three-time loser rule.

Nobody asked me, but Wes Moore’s showing in Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary is also a stunner. And it brings to mind an award-winning film, “The Candidate,” released 50 years ago this summer. The movie is about modern campaigning and the power that celebrity provides a political novice seeking office. Robert Redford, at his 1970s handsomest, plays a charismatic Senate candidate who pulls off a surprising win. In the movie’s final scene, an angst-ridden Redford pulls aside his campaign consultant and asks, “Marvin, what do we do now?” I suspect there’s something like that going around the Moore camp today.

Advertisement

Nobody asked me, but political junkies are speculating that Moore’s ambition is really the White House, and that serving as Maryland governor would provide a path toward that goal. If such a thing were to happen, it would be an extraordinary first. While Larry Hogan has flirted with the idea, Martin O’Malley was the last Maryland governor to launch a presidential campaign, and, well, he didn’t make the playoffs.

I could go on, but before I do …

Note that, when he had the opportunity, Wes Moore passed up a chance to run for mayor of Baltimore, his adopted hometown. I thought he could have won in either 2016 or 2020, and really given the city a boost. But mayor of Baltimore is the toughest job in Maryland — ask O’Malley or any of the six living former mayors — and, in fact, politicians make jokes about how you have to be loco to seek that office. On the other hand, being a Democratic governor in blue Maryland, with Democrats in the legislative majority, is relatively easy. (And the Department of Natural Resources takes you fishing any time you want!) So, slick move by Moore: Skip City Hall and set sights on Annapolis.

One more thing: I still don’t understand why Doug Gansler ran for governor again.

Nobody asked me, but we should not overlook the fact that the Republican gubernatorial primary winner, Dan Cox, comes with a running mate. On the Trump-endorsed ticket is Gordana Schifanelli, an Eastern Shore attorney whose photograph I keep as a screen saver. In it, she’s posing with her left hand on her left hip, the other hand gesturing toward a huge banner that says, “Trump Won, Save America.” Schifanelli is every bit the MAGA disciple that Cox is. She claims to be running for office to save us from the “evils of communism creeping into our schools” and to keep Marylanders “free from invasion of their bodily integrity.”

I could go on, but before I do …

Note that Schifianelli is the woman who established the Kent Island Patriots Facebook group to go after Andrea Kane, the first Black superintendent of Queen Anne’s County schools, because Kane had called for dialogue on racism and voiced support for Black Lives Matter following the death of George Floyd. The controversy that Schifanelli fomented led, in part, to Kane filing a racial discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the county’s all-white school board. Kane’s complaint says, among other things, that the board refused to support her advocacy for racial equity. The case is still being investigated by the EEOC, according to Kane’s attorney, Timothy Maloney. Kane resigned from her post in June 2021 and now has a professorship at the University of Pennsylvania. Facebook banned the Kent Island Patriots last fall, according to the New York Times.

Nobody asked me, but now that the Democrats got what they wanted — Cox as the Republican nominee for governor — maybe they could throw some cash behind Heather Mizeur’s effort to unseat Rep. Andy “Dr. Dolittle” Harris in the 1st District.

Advertisement

Somebody — it was the Baltimore distiller named Len Louthan — asked me how Republicans could pick the far-right Michael Peroutka as the party’s nominee for Maryland Attorney General. It’s not just that he’s conservative, he has a history with white supremacy, and Louthan found Peroutka’s ideas in conflict with Maryland laws he would be expected to enforce. “I listened to his interview [on the radio] a couple of weeks back,” Louthan said. “I was appalled at what he said and that he could even be a candidate … How did we get here?” How? I think it was by escalator, in Trump Tower, June 16, 2015.

Nobody asked me, but, as bad as things seem around here, with the constant Baltimore bashing, we should feel good about two things: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra just made a big splash by giving the 29-year-old Jonathan Heyward the baton previously held by Marin Alsop and the Orioles are the best last-place team in baseball. Go, BSO! Go, Os!


Advertisement