Local blogger Scott E was there, as was Andrew Michaels, reporting for the Howard County Times. Scott's tolerance for attending political events is a good deal higher than mine, I might add.
I'm not a political blogger. I weigh in, from time to time, on particular decisions that mean something to me, so I'm not going to present an analysis of this event ,or his decision to run again, from a political perspective.
Instead, here's something we can all agree on. This quote from Councilman Greg Fox is just a hot mess.
"The morality of the [announcement] is night-and-day compared to how it was during the last administration as far as how we find things out," Fox said. "We've got a great place, in general, because of the people who live here and they care about the county in many different ways." (Please see below for update.)
To be fair--
With that being said, here is my up-to-the-minute, in-depth analysis of his statement. (Read: a few collected thoughts.)
- Mr. Fox isn't running for office.
- It can be difficult to come up with a coherent sound bite off the top of one's head.
- Perhaps what he said got garbled in translation.
Does Mr. Fox truly mean "morality"? Is he suggesting that Kittleman's term has been notable because he brought morality to Howard County Government? I wasn't aware that it was missing. Or does he really mean "morale"? (I've reached out to Andrew Michaels for any perspective he can give on this.) If he simply doesn't know the difference between morale and morality, well, I think he should.
This quote seems to suggest that the upcoming race is against Ken Ulman. It's a rather backward-looking statement. Is it necessary, in order for Mr. Kittleman to win, to raise the spectre of a former County Executive as some kind of bogeyman? It just feels odd to me.
Mr. Kittleman's term has been long enough that he can be judged on his own accomplishments, whatever you think of them. On a celebratory evening at the Lakefront, I would think that looking forward would suit his campaign better than looking back.
Update: I received the following from blog reader Chris Oxenham:
Julia, full confirmation that it was a misquote. Mr. Fox has already spoken to the Howard County Times and they are correcting the story. It was very loud and also piping hot there, I think the misquote was an honest mistake.
I look forward to learning what Mr. Fox meant to say.
Article has been updated with the quote now reading as follows:
“The mentality of the administration is night-and-day compared to how it was during the last administration as far as how we find things out,” Fox said. “We’ve got a great place, in general, because of the people who live here and they care about the county in many different ways.”
It does make more sense but it's still a backwards glance.