Van Hollen Scared of Edwards

When Senator Barbara Mikulski announced her retirement following a Republican gains in Maryland, political insiders throughout the country kept an eye on the Maryland race. An open seat when the Democratic Party is at their weakest in the past 40 years makes a choice in candidates all the more important.

While there seems to be great uncertainty over who will be the Republican nominee for Senate, the Democratic nomination has two candidates chosen by the media: Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Donna Edwards.

The two are the same yet so very different; Van Hollen is a white man from Montgomery County, representing genteel ivory tower liberalism while Edwards is a black woman from Prince George’s County with a political activist background. The Democratic Party is evenly divided on which to support as it is a common fight over the soul of the party itself. Long divided, whichever side gains control over the Senate seat gains influence over the party itself.

And so the battle has become tense.

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A recent ad running on radio and television, with minor differences, blasts Edwards from every which way. Filled with fury and completely confusing, the ad begins by saying that Edwards isn’t fit to be Senator because she has attacked Van Hollen. It’s an attack ad accusing an opponent of attacking.

Ironically, Van Hollen then accuses Edwards of being like “Tea Party Republicans” while saying that Van Hollen is able to work with those across the aisle. The ad does not explain how Van Hollen able to work with Republicans while he is openly attacking them. It also does not explain how she is both too Democratic and too Republican.

With confusing ads that send a contradictory message, it seems like Van Hollen’s campaign has allowed fears over Edwards’s chances to secure the Democratic nomination override their ability to message. If it weren’t for the very expensive and constantly running ads from two outside organizations, Committee for Maryland’s Progress and the National Association of Realtors PAC, in support of Van Hollen, his campaign would have absolutely no chance to succeed.

Even if Van Hollen does manage to beat Edwards, this level of chaos and amateurishness among his campaign staff, combined with the massive amount of money being spent on securing the primary, will surely cost him in the long run.

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