Most phone solicitations, but the call that...

WE ABHOR

December 22, 1993

WE ABHOR most phone solicitations, but the call that interrupted a recent Saturday morning for nearly a half-hour was one only an editorial writer (or political junkie) could love.

It was a phone survey, apparently commissioned on behalf of the Maryland Democratic Party or by one of its gubernatorial hopefuls, to gauge the public appeal of both announced and potential candidates.

Did we think very favorably, somewhat favorably, somewhat unfavorably or very unfavorably, the caller wanted to know, about the likes of Mary Boegers, Parris Glendening, Frank Perdue, Mickey Steinberg, Ben Cardin, Nancy Grasmick, maybe one or two others? There was a whole series of questions along those lines. Having opinions about newly or never-announced candidates this early in the race, however, isn't necessarily an easy job for an editorialist; we can't imagine how many others folks, totally bored or disillusioned with politics, could have stayed with the pollster's call for more than a few minutes. (The pollster did reveal that senior citizens generally had plenty of answers to her questions.) Anyway, we particularly enjoyed one segment when the questioner would describe one of the aforementioned candidates, but wouldn't name them, and asked how we would regard such a person, like the game show "Jeopardy!" Would you be inclined, she asked, to vote for a 51-year-old man who has served three terms as a county executive and is a college professor? We felt like saying, "Alex Trebek, we know that one, 'Who is Parris Glendening?' "

The question we found most irresistible, though, was, "Would you be more or less inclined to vote for a candidate endorsed by The Baltimore Sun?"

You think we're not worried about job security?

Of course we answered, "MUCH more inclined."

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