Larry Hogan, the former governor of Maryland, made it official yesterday. He will not be running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
Like a lot of former Marylanders, I’m breathing a sigh of relief. It’s not that I felt Larry Hogan had any chance of winning. And it’s not that I don’t feel that Hogan did about as good of a job as any Republican could possibly do in a state that is as blue as Maryland. Hogan was a good governor and he’d probably be a good Cabinet secretary in either a Republican or a Democratic administration. Personally, I’d rather see him in charge of the Transportation Department than Mayor Pete.
What I was dreading was watching Hogan ruin his legacy by running an obviously doomed and ego-driven presidential campaign. There was absolutely no path for Hogan in 2024, regardless of how much the Washington-based punditry claimed otherwise. There was a chance that Hogan would have served to split the anti-Trump vote though it seems more probable Hogan would have been humiliated in much the same way that former governors like George Pataki and Jim Gilmore were humiliated in 2016. No one wants to end their political career as an asterisk in a poll.
Hogan should have run for the Senate in 2022. If Ben Cardin retires in 2024, Hogan will undoubtedly be courted by the NRSC but I doubt Hogan will take the plunge. Just as some politicians are born legislators, Hogan was a born administrator.
Hogan served two terms in a state this usually hostile to Republicans. He ended his term as one of the most popular governors in Maryland’s history. That’s not a bad record to go out on.
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