Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
It's not an easy sell, but it's not unprecedented either. In fact, Jack Markell is doing something very similar in Delaware.
Markell is the state treasurer, who became the Democratic nominee for governor yesterday, as the News Journal reports:
Democrats voted for change at the top Tuesday, choosing state treasurer and party maverick Jack Markell over the choice of party leaders, Lt. Gov. John C. Carney Jr.
Why is Markell considered a maverick? Look at the rhetoric he was using on the campaign trail. From the News Journal :
Markell uses a constant chorus of reference to the "Minner-Carney administration," a reminder to all that Carney's primary statewide service was at Minner's side. He paints Carney as an incrementalist who proposes a tweak here, a tweak there, maybe an expansion, a revision, certainly nothing bold and nothing particularly new.
"He has had eight years to get things done and things haven't changed," he said. "He is [Minner's] hand-picked choice. He has her authority and, in her mind, he is her partner. This state needs to move in a different direction."
Gov. Ruth Ann Minner is, of course, a Democrat, like Carney and like Markell. In fact, Democrats have held the governor's office for the last 16 years. Markell's argument, like McCain's, is that his party affiliation won't stop him from being an agent of change.
What's interesting about Markell is that he successfully used that line of reasoning in a Democratic primary. In effect, a majority of Democrats agreed that it is time for a change from the current Democratic leadership.
What's also interesting is how blunt Markell was in his criticism of the Minner-Carney administration. Can you imagine McCain saying of President Bush, "He has had eight years to get things done and things haven't changed."
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