March 11, 2005


Sarbanes Won't Seek Another Term in the U.S. Senate (WTOP, , Mar. 11, 2005)

Maryland's longest serving U.S. Senator will not seek another term, WTOP has learned.

Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes is holding a 1 p.m. news conference in Baltimore to talk about his 2006 election plans.

Sarbanes, 72, has served in the U.S. Senate since 1977.

60 gets easier and easier.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 11, 2005 11:16 AM

Lt. Gov. Steele, then? I assume Bush will be leaning hard on him to run.

Posted by: John Thacker at March 11, 2005 12:23 PM

The GOP could pick up this seat. It is too early to tell if the GOP taking the governorship in '02 was a fluke in this normally blue state but Steele could be a strong enough candidate to beat any Dem that comes along.

Posted by: AWW at March 11, 2005 12:26 PM

I hear Alan Keys is available.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 11, 2005 12:26 PM


His numbers were even decent against Mikulski:

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2005 12:32 PM

60? If you count Chafee, Collins, and Snowe as Republicans, I suppose so.

Posted by: Axel Kassel at March 11, 2005 2:11 PM

Steele can run and lose and still be a viable candidate for governor in 2010, so it's hard to see a downside. On the other hand, this could make Gov. Ehrlich's reelection bid more difficult as Democrats now have a carrot to induce potential gubernatorial primary rivals out of the race.

Posted by: AC at March 11, 2005 2:29 PM

Don't forget that OJ doesn't care about people *acting* like Republicans so long as they just *call* themselves Republicans. This is why he still holds a torch for Jim Jeffords. Orrin would be out campaigning for the Zombie Stalin/Noam Chomsky '08 ticket if they just called themselves Republicans. No, I don't get it either. I'm not saying that all of my GOP politicians have to be dyed in the wool, spittle-flecked fanatics but it would be nice to see the side with their own team more often than once every 30 years, like Jimmy J did.

Posted by: Governor Breck at March 11, 2005 2:43 PM

Chafee, Collins, and Snowe have voted to confirm W's nominees, haven't they?

Better 75% an ally than 25% of one.

Posted by: John Thacker at March 11, 2005 2:53 PM

The Maryland GOP is too weak on the ground to matter. Also, media time is expensive in Baltimore and Washington so any prospective candidate would need deep pockets.

Cardin or the guy from Montgomery County who has a zillion dollars in his campaign chest wins this one in a walk.

Posted by: Bart at March 11, 2005 3:18 PM

Bart: How did the Republican win the governorship then?

Posted by: Bob at March 11, 2005 4:38 PM

i have a question; why doesn't the national gop run candidates against these pretenders, and get a real republican in there ? i find it hard to believe that the voters are going to switch to a real democrat if they can't have a fake democrat.

Posted by: cjm at March 11, 2005 6:48 PM

i have a question; why doesn't the national gop run candidates against these pretenders, and get a real republican in there ? i find it hard to believe that the voters are going to switch to a real democrat if they can't have a fake republican.

Posted by: cjm at March 11, 2005 6:48 PM


Because they ran against a Kennedy who took far left positions on everything and was a terrible candidate to boot. Also, the election was to replace a disgraced Democrat, Parris Glendenning.

It was close to a 'Perfect Storm.'


In some areas, there really isn't a constituency for a 'real Republican.' In NYC, Giuliani is about as conservative as it can possibly get.

Posted by: Bart at March 11, 2005 8:04 PM

Steele can't win, nor can Pipkin, about the only other Republican worth mentioning. Unless Morella runs, though she's getting up there. And Bart's on target--it was a perfect storm for Republicans last time. A year or two earlier or a year or two later, and Ehrlich wouldn't have had a chance. Amazing what a $1.8 billion deficit will do.

It's going to be awfully crowded with heavyweights on the Democratic side--O'Malley or Duncan, Cardin, Cummings, Mfume, maybe State's Attorneys Gansler and/or Ivey, and Wayne Curry may want to get back in the ring. Odds are, though, that the decks will be cleared for O'Malley or Duncan, whichever wants it, which also clears the way to the Democratic nomination for Governor and saves money for the nominee against Ehrlich.

I'd have to think O'Malley will take it--it's presumably where he wants to end up anyway (or VP or the Oval Office, though that seems hard to imagine), and the Democrats would love to get him on the national stage. Well, for something other than comparing the President unfavorably to Osama bin Ladin. He'd rather pontificate than run something, I'd imagine, and Duncan would rather manage (and he's much better at it), so everyone would be happy.

Except the seventeen Maryland Republicans. (Though one good thing about being in a blue state is the smile that comes to one's face every time a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker goes by...)

Posted by: jsmith at March 11, 2005 8:24 PM

So, if a far left poor campaigner is the Dem nominee again, doesn't it mean Steele has a shot?

Posted by: Bob at March 12, 2005 12:44 PM

Very unlikely. Partly because few of the likely names are poor campaigners, aren't far left (not in Maryland, anyway), and they aren't running for a State office after the incumbent has run up a $1.8 billion deficit.

Posted by: jsmith at March 12, 2005 12:53 PM

One of the most important rules of competitive chess is never to rely on the stupidity of your opponent. It's not a bad life rule as well.

The Maryland Democrats are certainly capable of stupidity, but given the electoral success of Barbara Mikulski over the years, mere stupidity is probably not even enough to derail their train. Criminality is no bar as the careers of Glendenning, Mandel and Schaefer indicate.

If Steele ran, he'd have as good a shot as any Republican could. But a lot of things need to come together for him to have a realistic shot. That doesn't mean it can't happen, but it's unlikely, especially since the Maryland Dems are coming off a butt-whuppin in the governor's race. The people who run Maryland's Democratic Party may be crooks and they certainly are wrong on almost all policy, but they are not stupid. They will certainly redouble their efforts to hold the seat. And they have lots of resources to draw on.

Posted by: Bart at March 12, 2005 1:22 PM