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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Handicapping Mfume

Rollcall has some insights on our Senate race (March 28):

And some Democrats believe that Mfume on the November ballot will help produce a record-breaking turnout of minority voters, benefiting Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.


Part of the Democrats’ skepticism about Mfume stems from the fact that he spent the past nine years leading the NAACP, the venerable civil rights organization based in Baltimore. Although it provided a national platform for Mfume, he is several years removed from the nitty gritty of Maryland politics. Mfume left Congress in 1996 after nine years, having previously served on the Baltimore City Council.

Moreover, Mfume started his career as a political insurgent and never ran with the benefit of a political machine. Today, Mfume does not have a political team around him. Minyon Moore, a leading national Democratic strategist who is a partner at the Dewey Square Group in Washington, D.C., is said to be helping him find a campaign manager. And he has never tested his political strength, and his message, beyond the boundaries of inner-city Baltimore.

And a couple of other choice bits:

"His (Mfume's) inspiring transformation is in fact part of his political appeal."

"Even most Republicans privately concede that without Steele in the race, Sarbanes’ Senate seat is likely to remain in Democratic hands."