The Odd Couple

Quasi-socialist Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous skipped last weekend’s Maryland Association of Counties meeting in Ocean City, one of the “must show” days on the political calendar, to be in Frederick where multi- millionaire congressional candidate David Trone was handing out campaign funds, specifically, promising that he was “…stepping up financially to work with everybody in all our races.”

There, in a remarkable display of chutzpah, Mr. Trone declared that his Republican opponent, Amie Hoeber, “has a lot of dollars behind her,” ignoring the fact that he spent more than $11 million during his primary as compared to Amie’s $200,000… a ratio of more than 50 to 1. Nor did he note that she won 70% of the vote in her primary while he limped home with barely 40% in his.  

Mr. Trone also charged that, if elected, Amie wouldn’t be able to stand up to the president, although in the next breath he complained that she had stood up to a previous Republican president when she argued that U.S. forces would not be adequately safeguarded by a chemical weapons treaty that she thought should have been made better.

Actually, Mr. Trone said Amie had “voted against” the treaty, perhaps in his mind already seeing her in Congress. She, of course, was not a member and therefore did not in fact have a vote. Rather she was called as an expert witness to testify before Congress and thus had a voice, which she raised in defense of America’s forces.

(For the record, her concern that rogue nations would ignore the chemical weapons treaty has been borne out, as Syria has used such weapons multiple times on its own people and terrorists used them against innocent commuters on the Tokyo subway.)

Undeterred, Mr. Trone asked his small, left-wing, Frederick audience “do we need more defense people, or do we need people who have compassion?” He did not explain how serving your country is less compassionate than selling liquor.

If Mr. Trone seems confused, perhaps it can be put down to dislocation. After all, just two years ago and despite spending more than $13 million dollars at that time he ran unsuccessfully in the 8th District primary. So now he’s running in the 6th District, where, he erroneously told his audience, the Democrats only held the seat “by 1700 votes” four years ago. Actually, it was 2700 votes and, of course, none of the candidates who ran then are running now. No matter; Mr. Trone and his new-found, friend-in-need regard political boundaries as just so many lines to be ignored. Not only is Mr. Trone shopping Maryland’s eight congressional districts to find one he can buy, but Mr. Jealous is also a nomad – he recently swapped San Francisco Bay for the Chesapeake Bay, living – and voting in Alameda, California in 2006 and 2008. Indeed, it would be 2012 before he would vote in a Maryland election, and his wallet has yet to complete the journey. His campaign coffers are being filled by California donors but, of course, thanks to Mr. Trone, that may be about to change.

So this carpetbagging couple – a socialist and a multimillionaire – have set out to see if they can convince Maryland voters that they are just like them. It will be a hard sell, given that they face Larry Hogan, one of the most popular governors ever, and Amie Hoeber, who Mr. Hogan has enthusiastically endorsed.

Montgomery County Republican Party