Ehrlich teases Steele, no word on successor
There was much buzz at last night's Maryland Republican Party dinner about who former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. might choose as a running mate in his bid to reclaim the office.
But on this night, he buddied up to his former lieutenant governor, chatting with Michael S. Steele, who has had a rocky tenure as head of the Republican National Committee, paying him respect in front of a crowd of about 700 and teasing him about his sports inabilities. ("I'm finesse. He's just football," Steele said of the jock-gap between him and Ehrlich.)
Check out our print story on the dinner.
Before the dinner at BWI Marriott, Ehrlich spoke briefly with reporters and declined to answer questions about his choice for lieutenant governor, though he said the vetting process has begun. He said there are "more than a few" candidates on the list.
Later, as he introduced featured speaker Mitt Romney, Ehrlich joked about the running mate selection process, saying "applications are available in the lobby on the way out."
Political insiders love to make a game of figuring out who might be on Ehrlich's short list. Frequently mentioned names include Mary Kane, Ehrlich's former secretary of state and a highly visible presence at many recent Ehrlich events, and Alison Asti, former head of the Maryland Stadium Authority.
Prominent Baltimore neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson's name has been bandied about recently. Carson was on the lips of several donors at the Republican dinner. The choice would add considerable wattage to an Ehrlich ticket (Cuba Gooding Jr. played Carson in a television movie!), but it appears to be a no-go.
Through a spokeswoman at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Carson said he is remaining a surgeon and has "no plans" to enter politics. It wasn't clear whether he'd been approached by Ehrlich.