Hogan’s Popularity Shows Strongly During Independence Day Visits to Arbutus, Dundalk
Sometime before noon today, an older lady had firmly positioned her lawn chair close to the curb and near the starting point of the Arbutus Fourth of July parade which was about to begin.
She knew that Governor Larry Hogan would be participating in the parade, and she didn’t want to miss it.
“I just hope I can shake his hand”, she said.
Another lady, sitting right next to her, commented that it’s nice to see someone who actually follows through with their campaign promises, as Governor Hogan has been doing since taking office nearly 18 months ago.
Suddenly both women got up, left their chairs, and made their way over to where the parade participants were being organized.
Within a few moments, they were chatting with the Governor.
Soon the parade began. As spectators saw Governor Hogan walking—and sometimes running—along the route, they erupted with applause. They wanted to be close to him, and he wanted to be close to them; I stopped counting how many times people asked to take a selfie with him (he took a selfie with everyone—and every group—that asked for one).
At multiple points during the parade, individuals would approach the Governor, as he was walking, and speak with him. One woman managed to catch up with Hogan, and, putting her hands on his shoulders, began to tell him, with a quivering voice, that one of her family members was recently diagnosed with cancer. The Governor hugged her.
All along the parade route, Governor Hogan was taking pictures, giving hugs, shaking hands, and petting dogs (both large and small). He even signed a little girl’s arm cast (she ran all the way from the other side of the street, during the parade, and asked him to sign it).
One man, upon seeing the Governor making his way through the parade, was so excited to have a chance at shaking his hand that he could no longer contain himself, and marched forward and enthusiastically greeted Hogan.
Governor Hogan received a similar welcome earlier that day in the Dundalk Fourth of July parade. There, people shouted their approval.
“Hogan’s the man!” shouted one spectator.
“We finally have a governor!” exclaimed another.
“There’s my hero!” said a man sitting on the top of the hill.
There was no question in anyone’s mind in Dundalk and Arbutus that Governor Hogan was enjoying the benifits of being a popular governor. In fact, a Washington Post article from April said that Hogan had become the most popular Maryland governor since 1998.
But how has Hogan, a republican, managed to be so popular in a state which is so predominantly democrat? I think the two ladies sitting on the lawn chairs in Arbutus got it right: When you follow through with your campaign promises, you don’t need to worry about what kind of reception you’re going to get.