Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Two days later, it's still a little surprising that William Donald Schaefer lost his job as Maryland comptroller. Not only did he lose (his first loss in 50 years of campaigns), but he placed third in the Democratic primary -- quite a comedown for a man who is one of the most celebrated figures in the state's political history, as a former governor and long-time mayor of Baltimore.
In retrospect, I think it was Schaefer's high profile that ultimately did him in. He lost because of a long series of intemperate and ill-advised remarks. But no words out of the mouth of any other state comptroller would have received near the attention that Schaefer got.
Schaefer bought himself trouble in February when he was captured on videotape admiring the rear end of an aide 60 years his junior and letting her know he wanted another look (last item). He kept up the death wish commentary right until the very end, comparing Janet Owens, his female opponent, to "Mother Hubbard." "It's sort of like she's a man," he said.
"I'm not a man," Owens insisted.
It finally was all too much for Maryland Democrats, two-thirds of whom voted against Schaefer. But none of the deliciously juicy folderol would have received so much play -- with multiple stories from multiple outlets -- if Schaefer didn't already come equipped with a long and storied record as both a public servant and a loudmouth eccentric.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.