There’s a fascinating Democrat Senate primary race in Maryland that’s received very little attention, yet the outcome will say a lot about the direction of the Democrat party in the coming years.
Two House members, both viewed as rising stars…….Donna Edwards and Chris van Hollen. both gave up ultra-safe House seats to run for the Senate. This in itself speaks volumes as to how Democrats feel about ANY chance of retaking the House before 2022. It also is an indictment of the sclerotic and mummified Democrat House leadership, which has seen the Democrat caucus sink to its lowest number in decades.
Maryland has been viewed as a solid blue state, yet it just elected a Republican Governor in an upset. Blacks are the largest voting bloc. Edwards is black, very far left, a single mom. Emily’s List has endorsed her. She entered the race early on, yet failed to received the endorsement of the Congressional Black Caucus. Indeed, only TWO of the CBC’s members have publicly endorsed her.
Van Hollen was deemed more of a centrist, along the lines of Bill Clinton and Rahm Emanuel. He is a long time Pelosi supporter, and once was viewed as her likely successor. In the race with Edwards, he’s been forced to move much more to the left.
Most curious, neither Obama, Hillary, or Bernie has made an endorsement. That alone says a lot.
The race, absent any legitimate polling, is viewed as a toss-up. If Edwards gets a big chunk of the black vote, she wins.
And if the GOP can find a decent candidate, she should lose in November.
At one level, the race is about how far left the Democrat party is headed.
But why the unwillingness of the CBC to support one of their own. On its face, that makes no sense whatsoever.
Here’s one theory.
The CBC is the largest voting block in the Democrat House caucus. There has been a lot of talk in recent years among House Democrats elected since 2010 to changing the caucus rules..giving younger members more input into leadership. Among the changes they want is to end seniority as the sole basis for choosing committee chairs/ranking members.
Most of the CBC members have near-automatic reelection. They’ve been busy climbing the up the seniority ranks, building their own personal fiefdoms….often populated with family members and other relatives. They’ve also near unanimously supported Pelosi, so much so that she created a “leadership” position for James Clyburn; so she in turn has promised that she will keep seniority as the sole criteria for chair/ranking member status. Van Hollen had supported Pelosi in this regard, and thus earned the gratitude of the Black Caucus.
The outcome will tell us much about the future direction of the Democrat party in blue states.
There’s another election in Maryland, for mayor of Baltimore, that merits a comment. The present deer-in-the-headlights mayor, who demonstrated her total and utter incompetence during the Freddy Gray riots, beat feet, and now the favorite to replace her is a former mayor, who resigned as part of a plea deal admitting to corruption charges while in office.
At this rate, look for Baltimore to want to ban the “Black-eyed susans” blanket from the Preakness as racist.