- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 22, 2005

In announcing his bid for governor of Maryland on Thursday, Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan urged voters to “think bigger.” Clearly Mr. Duncan doesn’t take his own advice, because he immediately went on a small-minded attack to paint his highly popular opponent as a dreamy idler. Mr. Duncan didn’t mention him by name, but Democratic frontrunner Martin O’Malley was the clear target of his speech in Rockville.

“You have to do more than believe things will turn out okay,” Mr. Duncan said, a reference to Mr. O’Malley’s “Believe” campaign. “Everyone wants an end to the political gamesmanship, partisanship and uncontrolled egos we’re suffered through over the past few years. They want their leaders to think bigger for Maryland.”

This is ironic; Mr. Duncan is himself a partisan gamer who harbors plenty of unrealities. Perhaps the biggest of Mr. Duncan’s unrealities is the notion that he could compete with Mr. O’Malley: the popular Baltimore mayor leads Mr. Duncan by 20 points in the latest polls and holds greater statewide name recognition. Much could happen between now and the September 2006 primaries, of course,, but if the Democratic contest were held today, Mr. O’Malley would trounce him.

In the long run, this could turn out to be the beginning of the end for Mr. Duncan. Since 1974, no Maryland politician except Sen. Barbara Mikulski has ever lost an election for statewide office and managed to salvage a political career. Of course, Mr. Duncan could be the once-in-a-generation politician who overcomes the odds. If he does, it won’t be because of his record in Montgomery County.

As we’ve pointed out on this page, most recently in connection with Gaithersburg’s debate over “day labor” sites, Mr. Duncan thinks fostering an illegal-alienunderclass servesMontgomery County’s best interests and has been known to play partisan hardball in support of it. He has supported lower in-state college tuition for illegals. He supports allowing immigrants to use ID cards like Mexico’s fraud-ridden matricula consular to obtain county services. He also has suggested that his critics equate illegals with terrorists.

If this turns out to be the last gasp of Mr. Duncan’s political career, Maryland will be the better for it.

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