Van Hollen Is Just What the GOP is Looking For
What’s better than a Maryland republican running for the United States Senate in an incumbent free race against an establishment liberal democrat who had a leadership role during the massively critical Obamacare debacle?
Chris Van Hollen, the democratic Congressman from Maryland’s 8th congressional district, announced on Wednesday in an email to supporters that he plans on seeking Senator Barbara Mikulski’s seat.
The long serving Mikulski announced recently that she will not be seeking reelection in 2016.
While Congressman Van Hollen could very well win his party’s nomination, I have a feeling that the Maryland republicans would also welcome the opportunity to go up against him in the General Election.
In fact, Van Hollen should be one of the republicans’ favorite democrats; it was during Van Hollen’s tenure as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) that the GOP took back control of the House during the 2010 midterm elections. Under Van Hollen’s leadership, that midterm election constituted the largest House swing in over 60 years.
I think it is pretty safe to say that Van Hollen will be part of a tough Primary Election fight. There is also growing enthusiasm among the liberal community for Van Hollen’s fellow democrat and colleague in the House, Donna Edwards (District 4), to run for the seat, as well.
Edwards, who has served in the House since 2008, has had her sights set high. And her high ambitions can be golden campaign topics for the Maryland Republican Party. In 2013, less than a year after the tragic and controversial Benghazi attack, and during a year in which the United States’ unemployment rate was 7.4%, Edwards introduced legislation in Congress to…wait for it…establish a national park on the Moon!
I would really like to see Edwards discuss the idea of establishing a national park on the Moon to a family in Maryland that is struggling to put food on their table.
While anything can happen in politics, I believe Van Hollen will be the democratic nominee. I can’t expect Edwards to get much support from her fellow House democrats if she does decide to run against Van Hollen, a powerful member of the liberal establishment.
But truth be told, having Van Hollen or Edwards face off against the Republican challenger in 2016 would be an ideal situation for the MDGOP. With the 2014 Hogan win still fresh, a sincere, well organized, and well funded Senate race on the part of the Republican Party has the potential to add even more red to a state that seems to be turning purple.