This campaign is about winning in June. The window for a Republican candidate to enter their primary closed February 27th. There will be no Republican powerhouse on the ballot in November. The June Primary, only open to Democratic voters, will pick Maryland's next Senator. This campaign is about defeating Ben Cardin, a sitting Senator, who has been an elected official for 50 years.
There are two aspects to this challenge, one having to do with foreign affairs and the other with domestic policy, except the foreign/domestic distinction tends to ignore the powerful linkages. The Iraq war cost the United States around $2 trillion, that's enough to have eliminated tuition at every public college in the United States for 20 years. Just the interest payments on this $2 trillion increase in the national debt, at 3% a year, comes to $60 billion a year. And ask this: If we go to war with Iran, as in Vietnam, from which social class do our soldiers come? Not the top 1%.
I'm regularly told, "You can't win in Maryland on foreign policy." That's correct, but misplaced advice. I don't intend to. As is clear above, my campaign is focused on the core issues of American life: work, time and money. That said, let me make two points about what it is to be a Senator. First, Senators are the Constitutional check on run-away war-power by any President. One of the greatest tragedies of American history was that this power was not exercised under both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, both of whom led tens of thousands of American boys and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese men, women and children to their pointless deaths because neither wanted to be "the first American President to lose a war." And the utter bungling of George W. Bush's ill-conceived invasion of Iraq exacted a price on the world that is still accumulating.
Secondly, about being a Senator, the truth of the matter is that all liberal Democrats basically vote the same (with a few exceptions such as Ben Cardin on the Iran nuclear deal). And almost all provide good constituent service and watch after the special needs of their state. What really matters is the focused area where the Senator carves out his or her influence and expertise, and becomes a leader for other Senators. For Ben Cardin, that just happens to be in Foreign Affairs, and most centrally, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. My own area of expertise. And Ben Cardin has made himself part of the problem, and whether it is the priority of Marylanders or not, it is here that replacing him will have the greatest impact for good.