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WYPR's Senior News Analyst opines on recent Maryland news.

Smith: Ehrlich In 2016? Really?

Gage Skidmore via flickr

Former governor Bob  Ehrlich for President? Really?

Why not, he's saying. He’s got his toe in the New Hampshire waters. It felt like Dundalk to him, he told The Baltimore Sun this week.

Not many will take him seriously. “Ludicrous,” said a veteran Democrat. “If people have trouble taking Martin O’Malley seriously as a candidate, how in the world does Ehrlich think he has a shot?” said another.

Among the reasons he might run, drawn from a miniscule sample.

  • Ex-governors and senators  often engage in “rain-making” – attracting clients charmed by the exes of the world. So maybe he needs to  buff up his luster. He got his picture in the Wall Street Journal last week. Maybe it lasts a single news cycle. Might be enough in this world.
  • With the smashing success of governor-elect Larry Hogan, Ehrlich’s not the top Republican in Maryland anymore.  How much rain could he be making?
  • Narcissism. Who ever heard of that in a politician?  “He’s been on the sidelines for eight years," said another observer. "He doesn’t like being on the sidelines.”

Some of these reactions assume he’s serious. If he is, he should have a talk with O’Malley – who could tell him how tough it is to build the kind of national organization you need to run for president.  Maryland’s governor’s been on the road for many months in pursuit of that goal.

Does Ehrlich have the hunger, the drive, the work ethic – the willingness to sacrifice? The national media, if it took him seriously, would be asking.

If the answer is yes, some would say, "Run, Bobby, Run."