We made two Democrats particularly happy on Election Day: the first is Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, because she can now no longer feel ashamed by the fact that she ran the worst campaign by a Maryland Democrat for governor in our recent history.
The second Democrat is, of course, Hillary Clinton. Her emotions are understandably more complex for the following reasons: when she visited Maryland to try to excite the Democratic base, it didn’t go too well…to say the least, with countless empty seats in an auditorium at UMD, just five days before the election.
However, despite the embarrassment of that event, in the long run, she has much to be thankful for, because we officially ended Martin O’Malley’s presidential aspirations.
To be clear, O’Malley never really had a shot at being president. However, his electability argument (to whatever extent that once existed) has now gone completely out the window. Imagine for a second that Wendy Davis had somehow won the governor’s race in Texas this year (a laughable thought, I know). That would have been a stunning repudiation of Rick Perry’s tenure as governor (it goes without saying that Greg Abbott won in a blowout victory, setting Battleground Texas back decades, but that’s another story).
Our win was a massive loss to the one party establishment in Annapolis, who can no longer treat us as if we don’t matter.
It might seem that I’m biased to claim that our immensely hard work paid off with the biggest upset of Election Day, but the overall consensus is that Larry Hogan had the most shocking victory. Having Nate Silver write an entire post after the election explaining how he got Maryland so wrong (he had given Brown a 94% chance of winning) is just the icing on the cake.
So how did we get to this point, and how can we build on the spectacular gains?
As everyone who has ever been to a Hogan campaign stop knows, he focused relentlessly on O’Malley’s complete failure on the economic front, and how he plans to turn our state around. Unsurprisingly, Marylanders from all over the political spectrum were receptive to this message (after all, it’s inconceivable to think that we won this election solely from Republican votes given the 2-1 registration disadvantage we suffer from statewide), because the taxes we levied in the past couple of years are absurd, no matter your political beliefs (as this RGA ad made perfectly clear).
After all, it was obvious that Brown realized that his argument was going nowhere when he had the audacity to declare that he wouldn’t raise taxes if elected (remember it wasn’t too long ago that O’Malley made the same declaration, and we know all the good that did).
What we did in Maryland was nothing short of historic. We elected the third Republican governor since Spiro T. Agnew, who was outspent by millions, because we had the right candidate and the right message. We all want a Maryland that actualizes the potential that we all know it has, and with this astonishing mandate, we are on our way to do that.
Now all we have to do in Montgomery County is to keep Hogan’s message on a county level, and build on the terrific gains that candidates like Frank Howard, Jim Shalleck, Dan Bongino, and countless others made, and we will be well on our way to ending one party rule in Montgomery County before we know it.
Another version of this post is in the Montgomery County GOP newsletter and can be found here.