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December 2, 2008

Harris campaign manager moving on, but remains focused on Maryland

Chris Meekins was all smiles for most of the summer. His candidate, state Sen. Andy Harris, had knocked off incumbent Wayne Gilchrest in a congressional primary, and Meekins had been promoted from spokesman to campaign manager.

A win by Harris -- which seemed probable for much of the year -- would make the world his oyster.

But Harris's fortunes faded, and Democrat Frank Kratovil won the 1st District. So instead of going to Capitol Hill as a chief of staff, Meekins is back to the grindstone, drumming up political clients and looking for the next big thing.

"I have joined Jamestown Associates in the D.C. office. Jamestown Associates is a full-service political consulting and public affairs firm specializing in television advertising, direct mail, and issues communication," Meekins said in an email that landed in reporters' in-boxes today. "I will be working with members of Congress on their franked mail, finding new clients, and assisting with the development of direct mail, television, and radio advertisements for races around the country (VA election less than a year away).

"While I enjoyed the 80-100 hour work weeks and the marathon 17-month long campaign, it is nice to be returning to a 'normal' life. I am still living in Maryland and plan to remain involved in Maryland politics. I will continue to advocate for issues I believe in and assist candidates who will move our state in a positive direction."

We wish Chris -- a sharp young political mind with a bright future -- all the best.

Posted by David Nitkin at 5:09 PM | | Comments (4)


"A sharp young political mind with a bright future"? Come on David, you cannot be serious. As the campaign season went on, it became evident that this weasel was out of his league. Maybe his one-pronged "liberal" argument sufficed in some circles, but it really fell flat on it's face this year. No doubt, Meekins will need to get more creative to have chance at success in the future.


Strategies that look bad in hindsight would have looked smart if a couple of thousand votes went the other way. John McCain made that point himself when talking about campaigns in disarray. Personally, I found many of the ads in this campaign repugnant, particularly the "solved the crisis" spot. But Meekins showed a lot of energy and resourcefulness, and had a good handle on what he was doing.


I agree that hindsight is 20-20. That being said, I have been questioning the "liberal" strategy since the summer. It may have worked in the primary, but it's a weak argument to a full electorate, especially in an election year such as this. Read the blogs. Even hard Republicans questioned why Meekins put all his eggs in one basket.

As a Kratovil supporter, I looked at Meekins as one of their weaknesses. If Harris runs again, I would hope he taps Meekins again. That would make me even more comfortable about Kratovil holding this seat.

We can only hope Meekins went to work for the Democrats...

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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