The present author has been making an effort to re-engage with some political folks recently. I honestly don’t know if this site will feature the wall-to-ceiling-to-cold attic coverage that was the case with Campaign ’14: The Search for Spock. That said, I figure my readership would like some trenchant insights on such matters, so here goes:
I spoke with Krish Vignarajah for about 10 minutes a few days back. I found her to be smart, engaging, and not put off by my idiosyncratic candor. I let her know that I listened to her appearance on Howard County’s finest café-based podcast, Elevate Maryland, and I had some questions regarding one attribute of her campaign’s positioning (consensus-oriented). Her rationale was thoughtful and (wearing my former operative flat cap) I can’t deny the strategic soundness of it. That said, for my tastes, I prefer a bit of a harder progressive/populist edge in terms of rhetoric and platform elements.
Of course, the candidate whose positioning is most likely closest to my own, Ben Jealous, has not yet won me over. I have to say that his MD-Care plan is an excellent proposal; one that would bring universal care to the residents of the Old Line State. I’m just not sold on the Jealous/Turnbull ticket which, considering the ideological and organizational overlap (Sanders supporter, member of Our Revolution, lifetime member NAACP, etc…) seems odd. Is it him? Me? Both? Neither?
I tend to favor Electeds, which amounts to a lack of a checkmark for both of the aforementioned candidates for Governor, as well as some others.
That said, as of his writing, it is unlikely that I would vote for the two County Executives currently in the race. I don’t know if Kevin Kamenetz offers the best contrast against Governor Hogan. Rushern Baker has a fine record of accomplishment but, like warm oatmeal, his campaign lacks a certain excitement. I suppose demonstrated managerial competence alone is worth something, but it didn’t work for Dukakis in ’88. But Baker is not alone there, as Ms. Vignarajah has also had management responsibilities for billion-dollar budgets.
So, as I told Krish (ok, that is striking my ear is too familiar…Ms. Vignarajah it is), she is in my top tier for consideration: a club consisting of herself, Senator Rich Madaleno (progressive, a policy wonk, an Elected, and I used to live in his district), Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings (good credentials), and Mr. Jealous.
In any event, I can’t see myself backing anyone until after the February 27 filing deadline. But who knows? Perhaps I will make up my mind over the Holidays, when I have more time to reflect on life beyond work and my classes.
For those with time, this video of Ms. Vignarajah delivering a commencement speech is worth checking out: