O’Malley/Smith in 2010?

Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith has over $1,000,000 in his campaign account and is term limited so what is he going to do next?

Democrat insiders are starting to wonder if Governor O’Malley will have Lt. Gov. Brown on the ticket in 2010. The two have had an aloof relationship since they took control of the State House in 2007. O’Malley and his team do their thing, while Brown does BRAC.

The theory goes that Lt. Governor Anthony Brown will take a job in the Obama Administration to build up his national stature and connections before coming back to Maryland in the future and running for a federal office (Senate or Congress). If Brown leaves before the 2010 election, O’Malley will add Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith to the ticket as his running mate.

The Obama folks have already snatched up Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Transportation Secretary John Porcari, so another high-profile Maryland pick doesn’t look out of the question.

This would make a lot of sense if Republicans nominate Bob Ehrlich. For Ehrlich to win, he needs large numbers in Baltimore County. Jim Smith could help O’Malley win Baltimore County. If the Democrats win Baltimore County it is next to impossible for a Republican to win statewide.

The question for O’Malley is does he lose support among black voters. He’s already fairly unpopular among the state’s black electorate (as far as being a Democrat with soft numbers goes.) Anthony Brown was O’Malley’s Michael Steele in the 2006 race, a dynamic the Ehrlich/Cox ticket knows well.

Brown has never been a part of O’Malley’s inner circle, and the whiz kids on the second floor of the State House seem more intent on giving Brown something to keep him out their hair than looking to the decorated veteran for advice.

The question for Brown is what does he gain by staying with O’Malley? Not that much, really. 2014 is a long way off and the field already looks crowded from here, with one big dog, a la Gansler, preparing for that battle.

Now what about Smith? What does he gain from running with O’Malley? Aside from a cushy job as the governor’s number 2, it looks like the governor becomes the big winner in this deal.

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