Ben Cardin was in my school today, as were two other Congressmen who were also alumni. Pretty awesome. I wish I could have met him, and talked to him about class size, but it wasn't meant to be apparently. Cardin is by all accounts a great guy and a solid, moral politician. He voted against the war in Iraq, for example, so no backpedaling there.
However, I have an Mfume bumper sticker on my car. I've liked that guy ever since I heard him speak on MLK day in Michigan when I was a Junior in college. He's inspiring as a speaker and progressive as a thinker. You know that scene at the start of Farenheit 9/11 when all the black congressmen were begging any US Senator to block the confirmation of Bush as President, and no one had the guts to do it? Now, I don't even think I would have had the guts to do it, and am not sure if the country would have been better off if it had occurred. It couldn't have been much worse, though, could it have? And I think Mfume would have done it. We need a real progressive from the state in that spot.
But I like Cardin just as much, almost. He almost always votes right and probably is more of a consensus builder than Mfume. He's probably also a surer bet again Steele than Mfume is.
I also like Alan Lichtman a lot. I realize he doesn't have a chance to win, but the thought have having a teacher in the US Senate - he'd be the first - is really intriguing. And he's a great thinker and actually understands history and its future implications.
My point is that Maryland has put up three excellent candidates for the US Democratic Senate seat. So excellent, in fact, that I'm having a hard time deciding. It's not even a vote with my head versus vote with my heart argument - they've all got both my head and my heart, and that's what makes it tough.
I'm still leaning Mfume. But if Ben Cardin swoops in and saves me from my class size nightmare somehow, then I'll be for him for life - just like I'll always support O'Malley because he swooped in and saved my job and, arguably, the Baltimore City Public Schools as we know it, a few years ago when the budget crisis hit.
It's going to be an interesting election season.
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