How NOT to win friends or win elections

Just when you think that you have seen everything in politics, you see something new.

Tonight I attended the Southern Maryland Young Republicans meeting in Prince Frederick, and the meeting featured bookend speakers for Delegate in District 27B, the winner earning the right to take on Sue Kullen. And the meeting ended with one of the stranger spectacles you will ever hear about.

The opening speaker was Bob Schaefer. Mr. Schaefer spoke about his perceived role of the General Assembly, and some of the things that he would do as a Delegate. He spoke on and on about his role, and stumbled a few times about who exactly does what when it comes to the role of Government, and fumbled a few softball questions that were thrown his way. Nothing earthshatteringly bad, but clearly a case of nerves from a novice candidate.

Once the club conducted the rest of their business, they heard a presentation from candidate Mark Fisher who spoke not about his camapaign, but about Cap and Trade. He presented the club with a slide show as it relates to Cap and Trade, how Marylanders are impacted by it, and how it relates to voters and citizens living in Calvert County. It was an impressive presentation, and during it he remained focused on the cap and trade issue, mentioning his candidacy only in passing.

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As the meeting wrapped up, Mr. Schaefer stood and announced that “he had never seen anything so impolite” as when Mr. Fisher and his team were setting up a projector to present the Powerpoint presentation during Mr. Schaefer’s remarks; something that most in the room didn’t even know was occurring. While I thought that was a little uncalled for (and that I had certainly seen things less polite than this), I thought nothing much more it.

As it turns out Fisher went to shake hands with Schaefer as folks were filing out to leave. And at that point Bob Schaefer punched Mark Fisher in the stomach, in front of Fisher’s children, no less. And nobody could believe what just happened. Fisher, being a reasonable fellow, decided (at last check) not to press charges in this bizarre incident.

I understand that sometimes primaries get heated, but this is just way way way over the line….and I kinda thought it was reasonably self-evident that you don’t punch your primary opponents at any point in the campaign.

Needless to say, I think Bob Schaefer just punched himself out of the Delegate’s race in 27B tonight.


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