When he grows up, he’d like to be a governor, Part Two

I wrote here about how Douglas Gansler, Maryland’s attorney general and a candidate for governor, regularly ordered state troopers assigned to drive him to turn on the lights and sirens on the way to routine appointments, directing them to speed, run red lights and bypass traffic jams by using the shoulder. Like a teenager might do, given the opportunity.

Now, comes further evidence that Gansler is a kid at heart. From the Washington Post:

At a half-hour news conference in Silver Spring, Gansler (D) said that when he stopped by a party for graduating high school students in June, he should have been more vigilant about ensuring that the teenagers were not doing anything illegal. A photograph shows Gansler in the middle of a party scene, surrounded by young people. He said that failing to more thoroughly investigate what was going on at the party was “a mistake I made.”

Gansler claims, ludicrously, that he didn’t know that members of the young “beach week” party crowd — three of whom, a photo shows, he saw dancing on a table top — were drinking. He says, though, that “in hindsight, I probably should have assumed there was drinking and talked to the chaperons about what they thought was appropriate.”

Yeah, probably.

Ironically, Gansler, as Attorney General, has made underage drinking one of his big issues. He has harangued a beverage company for selling a fruit-flavored, high-alcohol malt beverage that he said was designed to appeal to young people. He has also pushed legislation to help prevent would-be underage drinkers from surreptitiously purchasing alcohol at a grocery store by checking out with a self-scanner.

Moreover, in a public service announcement, he declared:

Parents, you’re the leading influence on your teen’s decision not to drink. It’s never too early to talk with your kids about smart ways to say no.

But this assumes that the parents aren’t teens at heart, an assumption that can’t be made in Gansler’s case.

Indeed, Gansler acted like a defiant teen when word of his presence at the beach week party broke. He told the Baltimore Sun:

Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party. How is that relevant to me? . . . The question is: Do I have any moral authority over other people’s children at beach week in another state? I say no.

Gansler is singing a different tune now. But the real Gansler is probably the guy who joy rides around the state, hangs out at a beach week party, and refuses to acknowledge his irresponsible behavior.

Will Maryland elect such a guy governor? It will if he’s the Democratic nominee. But that prospect is looking less and less likely.


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