Maryland's next lieutenant governor
Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown is under consideration for Obama's veterans affairs secretary. If he got the job, or another within the Obama administration, it would create a vacancy that many would like to fill.
Under the Maryland state constitution, Gov. Martin O'Malley has the authority to fill a vacancy in the lieutenant governor position, subject to approval by a majority of the General Assembly meeting in a joint session. (In reality, that would mean a majority of the 141-member House of Delegates.)
Brown was the full package for O'Malley. The African-American former delegate from Prince George's County balanced the ticket racially and geographically, and his service in Iraq as an Army reservist lawyer was a huge plus.
It would be hard for O'Malley to find another Anthony Brown. And he may not have to. As an incumbent with moderate and improving approval ratings, O'Malley would have the ability to look in many different directions if he sought a 2010 running mate. He could reward friends or punish enemies or pick someone with expertise in a policy area that would be valuable to his administration.
Here's a few names to throw in the mix (some more serious than others):
Isiah Leggett: Sure, Montgomery County executive is a good job. But at a time of shrinking revenues and other budgetary pressures, maybe being in Annapolis looks better.
Tom Perez: O'Malley's labor secretary also has an eye on an Obama administration position, but if had the chance, the governor could send a strong signal by elevating a Harvard-educated Latino lawyer from Montgomery to statewide office.
Dereck Davis: The delegate from Prince George's County is chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee, with an expertise in energy policy. Like Brown, Davis would provide racial and geographic ticket balance.
Jim Smith: One of O'Malley's closest political allies, Smith, the executive of Baltimore County, is staring at a 2010 term limit. Two years as lieutenant governor could give him added visibility to challenge for comptroller in the next election.
Stephanie Rawlings Blake: The Baltimore City Council president is looking to raise her visibility.
Maggie McIntosh: The House environmental chairwoman from Baltimore would be the first openly gay lieutenant governor in the nation. Highly regarded in the assembly, she's close to Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, one of the most influential politicos in the state.
Glenn Ivey: The Prince George's state's attorney is smart, ambitious and articulate. He's a guy who looks like he'd be going places, but he doesn't have much visibility outside his home county and might be looking for a way to move up and out.
Peter Franchot: Talk about your team of rivals. Would Franchot have the gumption to reject an offer from a political antagonist? O'Malley could remove a thorn from the public works board, and give Franchot all kinds of special projects in, say, Garrett County to keep the ambitious MoCo Democrat occupied.
Doug Duncan: Isn't he looking for a job?
Do you have other suggestions? Who should be on an O'Malley short list?