From the Baltimore Sun
Ehrlich sees little future for himself in politics
But governor predicts bright prospects for Steele
By Andrew A. Green
November 11, 2006
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. all but ruled out another run for public
office but said in two radio interviews yesterday that he is keeping
his career options open in the wake of his failed re-election bid.
The Republican made his first extensive comments since Tuesday's
election on two radio talk shows he has frequented as governor: the
Chip Franklin Show on WBAL-AM and the Sports Junkies on WHFS-FM. The
governor struck an upbeat tone on both shows, even though he said the
election demonstrated that the state has moved away from him
"It's been a great 20-year run here," said Ehrlich, who served as a
member of the House of Delegates and U.S. House of Representatives
before his 2002 gubernatorial win. "It's just been a really great
experience, but you also have to be realistic about where you are, what
state you live in and what the trend lines are and what people want."
A caller to Franklin's show suggested Ehrlich should run for president,
but the governor pooh-poohed the idea. "It's a bad week to be talking
about that," the governor said. "Obviously, losing a gubernatorial race
is not necessarily a great predicate for a run for anything else,
(He would, however, be the third man in the last 50 years to lose a
governor's race and later become president, following Richard M. Nixon
and Bill Clinton.)
Though Ehrlich said his political future is dim, he added that the
prospects for his lieutenant governor, Michael S. Steele, are
limitless. Ehrlich said he had heard rumors that Steele could be in
line for the top spot at the Republican National Committee or other
major posts in Washington.
Steele ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate, losing to U.S. Rep.
Benjamin L. Cardin.
"He proved himself to be a very capable lieutenant governor, first, and
then a very capable candidate," Ehrlich said on WBAL. "I think Mike
will have a future in elective politics. I think he most likely will
run again in the state of Maryland, and I will encourage him to do so."
Ehrlich will continue in office until mid-January, when Gov.-elect
Martin O'Malley will be sworn in. Until then, he will also continue to
live in the governor's mansion. Ehrlich said on WHFS that he and his
wife, Kendel, and two sons, Drew and Josh, will likely stay in the
The governor said he has not given much thought yet to what his future
will hold. He said on WHFS that he isn't interested in lobbying but
could return to law or other fields. He also said that former New York
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who campaigned for him in 2002 and 2006,
called after the election and said he wants to meet with the governor
to discuss his future.
"I really don't have any idea what I'm going to do," Ehrlich said.
"Some people have called with ideas, but I'm going to take my time."
Copyright © 2006, The Baltimore Sun