Prominent Maryland Democrats joined local officials and party activists Sunday in Columbia, MD to support Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Speakers included U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Congressman John Sarbanes, Howard County Council chair Dr. Calvin Ball III, State Senator Guy Guzzone, several members of the county’s House delegation, as well as other local officials and activists.
Hillary for Maryland sponsored the grassroots effort. Courtney Watson, who ran unsuccessfully for Howard County Executive in 2014, led the event. Watson told the Baltimore Post-Examiner that she supports Clinton because the candidate has fought tirelessly for women’s rights, children and families, and to strengthen the economy.
Sen. Cardin, who spoke first, told the small group that he has known Clinton since she was first lady of Arkansas and subsequently explained that Clinton’s impressive performance in subsequent roles, First Lady of the United States, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State, make her uniquely qualified to serve as Commander and Chief. However, Cardin more emphatically emphasized Clinton’s passion for social justice issues as a qualifying criterion.
“I don’t think there’s [ever] been a person better prepared to be President of the United States than Hillary Clinton,” Cardin said. “And you know there will be people who will say they’re for gender equity, that they’re for worker’s rights, they’re for the environment-Hillary Clinton has a proven record; she has a proven record of fighting for the underdog and winning and achieving great results for our children.”
Sarbanes also said that Clinton is probably the most qualified candidate to ever seek the presidency and subsequently explained that he was disturbed by the rhetoric being used by some of the Republican candidates, particularly Donald Trump.
“We know that campaigns are about ideas; it’s not about personal attacks, like we’ve seen coming from the Republicans,” Sarbanes said. “We understand how to disagree and do that in a way that is respectful. When you listen to Donald Trump in particular, you understand that this man would divide the country, potentially for decades going forward.”
Ball said he understands why some people are attracted to Trump’s candidacy but also said the real estate mogul is not suited to be president.
“So as we often go around the county, from every corner and we go around the state, I hear all kinds of wonderful things about how Donald Trump is such an interesting guy-a guy you’d want to have a beer with… we can’t let these interesting people who someone might want to have a beer with get in there and be in charge of public policy,” Ball said. “We can’t have people who want to punish women for the right to choose and maybe out law it-maybe not; because we don’t know where he is today-we can’t have those people there.”
State Sen. Guzzone criticized the Republican presidential candidates.
“Competency matters, truth matters; we can’t just go about living this life believing some alternative reality out there that isn’t reality; you know that-that’s what this campaign is about,” Guzzone said.
Asked to respond to the Democrat love-fest, Joe Cluster, who serves as executive director of the Maryland Republican Party compared the GOP front-runner to Clinton who is under FBI investigation for using a private server to send classified emails while she served as Secretary of State.
“Say what you want about Donald Trump, at least he’s personally not under federal investigation,” Cluster said.
Bryan is a freelance political journalist whose experience includes three and a half years covering Congress and two years covering Maryland state government.
His work includes coverage of the election of Donald Trump, the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and attorneys general William Barr and Jeff Sessions-as well as that of the Maryland General Assembly, Gov. Larry Hogan, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryan has broken stories involving athletic and sexual assault scandals with the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
His original UMBC investigation gained international attention, was featured in People Magazine and he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America” and local radio stations. Bryan broke subsequent stories documenting UMBC’s omission of a sexual assault on their daily crime log and a federal investigation related to the university’s handling of an alleged sexual assault.