Winners and Losers from the First Maryland Democratic Debate

The first debate in the Maryland Democratic Gubernatorial Primary was tonight. We tweeted about the debate over @RedMaryland, primarily in gifs, if you want to get our first take on the debate.


Governor Larry Hogan: There’s a reason Governor Hogan has such an overwhelming approval rating and leads every potential Democratic opponent by 12-points or more. A field that has been labeled as uninspiring and boring proved to be uninspiring and boring.

This is a good time, by the way, to talk about the thoroughly awesome video the Maryland Republican Party put out about the Democratic candidates.

Trending: Thank You

James Jones: Probably nobody had ever heard of James Jones, one of the “those also running” candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. This was his first chance at actual exposure. He hit the jackpot by being the only candidate who seemed to be able to form complete sentences.

The Clock: The moderators did an excellent job trying to keep the candidates on the clock even though some (most often Krish Vignarajah, though nobody is surprised she was trying to bend the rules) abused the privilege more than others.


The Truth: Democratic candidates had an absolutely horrible time being honest when it came to Governor Larry Hogan’s record. This was particularly true when it came to the call to “fully fund” education when everybody knows that Governor Larry Hogan has fully-funded K-12 education at record levels through the first four years of his term.

Meanwhile, where exactly did the Democrats view of the economy come from?

Hypocrisy: Rich Madaleno once again railed about fully-funding education, hoping you forget that he voted for billions in education cuts under Martin O’Malley.

Rushern Baker: Rushern Baker had two absolutely amazing slip-ups. The first was his response to a question about redistricting. “Um, what was the question?”

Baker, in his opening statement, also focused on education and schools hoping that you didn’t notice the problems Prince Georges’ County has with their school system and how parents wanted to oust him as County Executive over his mismanagement of the school system.

Ben Jealous: Ben Jealous fumbled so many times during this debate, couldn’t make sense, couldn’t make a lot of coherent thoughts. In a debate full of bad debate performances, Ben Jealous may have had the worst debate I have ever seen for a “major” statewide candidate. And I watched Kathleen Kennedy Townsend debate…

Baltimore: There was a lot of discussion about Baltimore, particularly as it related to crime. But nobody had a serious plan. Nobody did more than pay lip service to the city. Nobody really had any ideas for Baltimore other than trying to demagogue about Baltimore’s issues in an effort to score cheap points against Larry Hogan while ignoring the fact that Baltimore has been under one-party rule for fifty years. Baltimore is our economic engine and the Democrats useful ideas amounted to a shrug.

Rural Maryland: Valerie Ervin’s disdainful comments about rural Maryland were the most obvious, but it became apparent that all of the candidates embraced her sentiment that they really didn’t have use for much of Maryland beyond the Baltimore/Washington corridor.

The final verdict about the debate?

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