Judging by our featured image, one may think, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”
However, looks may be deceiving.
After the Post received this photo, we asked where it originated. When we were told that it came from Johnny O’s Facebook page, we were rather perplexed.
We believe there is a very good reason this photograph was posted on social media. Given today’s digital world, it has become almost a compulsive necessity for people to document everything they do on their social media pages, regardless of the particular light such images might cast.
For those who do not closely follow local politics, the Post will provide a brief crash course so you can gain some insight into this modern era of political divisiveness.
There are three people featured in the photo. The person on the left is Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, who will challenge Governor Larry Hogan in November. The woman in the middle is Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. Leaning or standing on the right is Johnny O.
What do these two political aspirants and one actual leader have in common? Aside from the fact that they are all Democrats, there are several issues that separate them from their Republican challengers.
Neither Mr. Jealous nor Johnny O, both of whom are considered to be Progressive (socialist) Democrats, will unite for the “common cause.” In several interviews, Johnny O would not endorse Mr. Jealous, while Mr. Jealous twinges at any reference to the term “socialist.”
The real angle deals with Mayor Pugh, who received some less flattering news when the FBI reported Baltimore City as the homicide capital of the United States.
The photo becomes problematic for Johnny O in more ways than one. The “buzz” this photo creates (pun proudly intended) centers on the link between a dysfunctional city at basically all levels of government and the impetus to inject that dysfunction into county politics. If Johnny O is not going to endorse fellow Democrat Jealous and his “progressive agenda,” then why create the perception that there is a level of support to interject the city’s politics into Baltimore County?
Was this moment made possible when everyone’s guard was down thanks to the beverages shown to the right? After all, mixing politics and alcohol can produce some strange bedfellows.
We believe that this “Kodak moment” shows poor judgment by Johnny O, which brings into question the relationships he will have when Baltimore City finds itself front and center within county politics.