One of the unfortunate consequences of having run and lost a campaign is the small talk that follows. Friends, family, coworkers - all well-meaning, all focused on the one thing you would rather not discuss for a little while.
How bout that Republican wave? Yes, how bout it. Ravens play on Sunday!
You ran a great campaign! Thanks. Makes it a little more frustrating, really. Have you tried the new sushi place?
Would you do it all over again? Well I used to think so, but this small talk is making me think twice. You know I just had a new baby, right?
However, someone asked me a question yesterday that I hadn't considered before - Did anything surprise you?
My first response was "the outcome", but there is much more to my answer than that. I'm someone who likes to think ten steps into the future. It makes me a good lawyer and a horrible bungie-jumper. I would count two "surprises" that are linked:
A) The extent to which people I could most fairly describe as "acquaintances" went all out for me with their time and resources to help us win. This was the most meaningful take-away from the race and something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
B) The manner in which "friends" turned their back on me in the name of being "non-partisan". This was the most impactful take-away from the race and has made me more guarded to those in search of "favors".
Thankfully, the former outweighed the latter. I am blessed with the contentedness that comes from having no "what ifs". There is not one thing I would have done differently in our campaign and not a single action or inaction that I believe would have changed the outcome. And if there were any real fundamental surprises, it is just how much I'm needed at home right now and how difficult that would have been if I had won.
Larry Hogan, a man who was never short on hyperbole on the campaign trail, now says that the state's economic picture is worse than he thought, according to Michael Dresser with The Sun. This is Political Transition 101 - if your predecessor was of the other political party, you frame all problems as being inherited and all successes as earned.
Luke Broadwater with The Baltimore Sun writes that the Baltimore City Council has passed a plastic bag ban in the face of a promised veto from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who has called this an anti-business measure. Unlike the sale-of-sugary-drinks-on-County-property-ban discussed yesterday, I think the argument against plastic bags is much stronger due to the public nuisance of seeing them strew across the city-scape, in our trees, and in our Bay. Nevertheless, for you free-marketeers, I think a bag tax may hit two birds with one stone for a city looking for new revenue.
Ellicott City has been designated a Maryland "Main Street", which will give it top priority for future state and federal grants, writes Blair Ames with the Baltimore Sun. Notably, this is Howard County's first Main Street designee. I would caution Howard County tourism officials against using the word "grow" when discussing Main Street Ellicott City. I am quite certain that "growth" is not an objective of any resident or business owner. "Strengthen" is the better term.
Featured Blog Post of the Day: Bill Woodcock writes a great piece discussing CA President Milton Matthews, Inner Arbor, and the constant confusion amongst some on the CA Board as to just how much they can boss around their CEO. I join Bill in congratulating, and thanking, Michael Cornell (River Hill) and Nancy McCord (Wilde Lake) for supporting Mr. Matthews in his advocacy for settled votes of the Board.
That's all for today. Have a great Tuesday doing what you love!