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Volume 15, Issue 44 ~ November 1 - November 7, 2007


Getting Our Campaign ’08 Groove On

There’s politics in the air, with the presidential election a year away this week. You can smell it — and you can begin to read more about it in Bay Weekly.

There are two kinds of politics. One’s electoral politics, which will engulf us shortly with campaigns leading up to Maryland’s Feb. 12 primary.

Then there’s the politics of governing, which is breaking out around us with the return of the General Assembly. (We’re hoping that Mark Twain was wrong in his assertion that “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”)

In this issue we bring you a profile of one of Maryland’s elected officials in action, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, written by Helena Mann-Melnitchenko, who shares the immigrant family roots of our senior senator.

Her story provides a glimpse of what a senator does, and how the irrepressible Mikulski does it. From Eastern Shore outlets to the ornate Senate hearing rooms in Washington, D.C., we learn how Mikulski operates, and we get a better idea of how politicians are shaped by their backgrounds.

Among other things, we learn of the long relationship between Mikulski and the Pelosi family in Baltimore. That would be the family of Maryland-born House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the powerful California Democrat.

Also in this issue is a wise piece by Bill Wohlfeld that tells us how we can immerse ourselves in Campaign 2008 even if all those presidential aspirants ignore us. Be you Democrat or Republican, Wohlfeld suggests going the route of political clubs, where you can get your political groove on with like-minded folks.

By the time Maryland’s Feb. 12 primary rolls around, people in 33 states will already have cast their presidential preference votes. We’ll likely be staring down the long barrel of the longest general election campaign in history then, without having a real say in who are candidates are. But that doesn’t mean we won’t get buyer’s remorse if they turn out to be duds.

Some Baysiders will have a sizzling race or two in their midst, including the GOP primary challenge of Rep. Wayne Gilchrest — whose largely Eastern Shore district includes parts of Anne Arundel County — by elements in the Republican Party resentful of his moderate approach to issues.

So as Campaign ‘08 sweeps the land, join the club. And keep reading Bay Weekly for glimpses into the lives of our office holders and office seekers that you won’t find anywhere else.

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