Monthly Archives: November 2015

What If Maryland Played Decisive Role in Presidential Primary?

It is again that time when Iowa and New Hampshire loom large for us political junkies. Some of my best and most exciting political experiences are from the epic Iowa caucus season of 2007-2008.

When Barack Obama entered the Democratic primary field in early 2007, nobody gave him much of a chance. Most people—especially political insiders and “experts”—thought Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination. Luckily, both Iowa and New Hampshire voters are an independent-minded bunch who want to truly vet the candidates and give everyone a chance. Voters in the early states want to meet candidates in person and hear what they have to say before making up their minds. Without this level playing field, Obama would have had no chance to beat Clinton in 2008.

Just imagine if Maryland had been an early decisive state during the 2008 primary season. Well before the primary, all elected Maryland Democrats would have lined up behind the party establishment’s choice—Hillary Clinton. The substantial campaign resources of the Maryland Democratic machine would have ensured that no challenger had any chance of beating Clinton. Obama, Edwards and all the other candidates would have been crushed. Game over.

Thank you Iowa and New Hampshire for having real elections.

Search for Slate Busters Is On!

I have been ranting about the Democratic slates and their impact on Maryland elections for some time now. The bottom line is, I have yet to hear of a lower ballot candidate (state delegate, county council member, etc.) who beat a person endorsed by an incumbent slate in a Democratic primary. But hey, I have only lived in Maryland since 2009, so the fact that I haven’t heard of such a slate buster does not prove that he/she does not exist.

Thus, the search for slate busters is on! Please let me know if you know of a Maryland candidate who meets the following criteria:

  • Was a candidate in lower ballot race (delegate, county council member, etc.) in a Democratic primary election
  • Won the Democratic primary
  • Was NOT endorsed by the incumbent Democratic slate and was NOT included on the slate’s “sample ballot” advertisement
  • Had an opponent who was endorsed by the incumbent Democratic slate and included on the slate’s “sample ballot” advertisement

If you know of such a candidate, please email me at tommi at with details.