No, Blaine, No!
In his regular Thursday column on TheTentacle.com, Frederick County Board of Commissioners President Blaine Young informed readers of his aspirations for higher office. What he said exactly:
“Many probably know that I am considering a run for governor of Maryland as a Republican. I am going to get this going over the next few months with an exploratory committee, and open a campaign account to raise money. My message will be very simple: One Vote Stops It All.”
We first met – fittingly – in Winchester Hall; he sat on a bench with his mother awaiting results from his father’s 1985 successful venture to win four more years as Frederick’s mayor. As I recall, the son was 13, still ahead was the popular radio talk-show. Subsequently, the parents divorced, which brought the estrangement between Blaine and his father. After running as a conservative Democrat, the son struck off as a Republican, and was given credit for the county’s Tea Party movement.
In his new guise, we philosophically disagree frequently; we remain friends. Pushkin and I were doing our morning stroll last Wednesday and Blaine came across North Market Street. We touched cheeks, as usual. He promised to come for coffee again. There was no mention of running for governor. I didn’t know until the next day when I read his column, which was backed up in Friday’s Frederick News-Post and The Baltimore Sun that gave credit to TheTentacle.com. His hometown publication, in a breach of professionalism, did not.
The Baltimore paper’s lead: “Once upon a time, The New York Times, of all publications, declared Blaine R. Young’s political career over.” The “gray dowager” of American journalism did not know the young man. His elder son was christened with the first name of the county’s longtime political boss, James E. McClellan, and called “J.R.” The middle initial derives from his grandfather, the former mayor. Politics runs deep in family’s blood.
Since his 2010 inauguration as commissioners’ president, Blaine’s noised about he will not run for re-election, and that was taken with a ton of salt. At the outset, interested observers guessed his next campaign would be for Capitol Hill, replacing a retired Roscoe Bartlett. The congressman let it be known early, before Christmas, he’s still interested; the gubernatorial race comes in two years, 2014. There’s still time for my 40-year-old friend to change his mind. I hope he will. Our differing political philosophies do not come into play.
Pragmatically, I don’t think he can win. His father entertained the same quandary, convinced by an unknown soothsayer he was fated for something grander; the mayor and I never discussed the prophecy. As a veteran reporter, I learned from various signs and indices that convinced me of the rumor’s truth. Maybe indeed the dream was taken over by the son. And state Sen. Ron Young belongs to the majority Democrats.
Radical Republicanism is the mode nationally and in this county, which, along with Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, is responsible for the screwed-up GOP presidential primaries and several recall movements across the nation. In Western Maryland’s Catoctin and Appalachian mountains, a mood of isolation still lingers. But down where the land is flat and turns into bay and ocean, it doesn’t.
Simply I don’t want the man I’ve loved since adolescence to be hurt in a major way. The case for his winning could be documented, but I know from my long life that surveys and statistics go to the highest bidder. It’s true, figures don’t lie, but liars certainly can figure, depending on the words used, and in what order.
No, Blaine, no!