Conspicuously missing from Parris N. Glendening's new, million-dollar TV ad blitz is reference to the Democratic gubernatorial front-runner's experience as a "police commissioner."
One of the two ads now appearing on televisions near you is a shortened version of an earlier "You'll love Parris" spot in which the Prince George's County executive is shown with a group of police officers.
But there is no mention of his tenure as a Hyattsville city councilman who oversaw the 20-officer police department as a "commissioner" -- a term critics say suggested that Mr. Glendening was a crime fighter instead of just a pencil-pusher.
Could it have anything to do with the satirical radio spot by American Joe Miedusiewski -- the Baltimore state senator running against him -- in which a sound-alike of Mayberry's own Barney Fife makes a cameo appearance?
"Nothing whatsoever," said David Seldin, Mr. Glendening's campaign press secretary.
"The bio ad went from 60 seconds to 30 seconds, and you need to cut some things out," Mr. Seldin said. "It doesn't change the fact that Parris Glendening served as police commissioner of Hyattsville."
But those six syllables?
"You see, 60 seconds is twice as long as 30 seconds, and in order to get from 60 seconds to 30 seconds, you need to take out half of the material," he said.
Thanks for that explanation, David. Is it really you, Helen?
Speaking of disappearing acts, the recently elusive U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley slipped away from her handlers long enough last week to address (almost) her gubernatorial competition's charges that she was a Democrat's dream date for the general election.
Ellen R. Sauerbrey, the Maryland House minority leader from Baltimore County, challenged Mrs. Bentley's "electability" last week, claiming that if the congresswoman were the GOP nominee, the Dems would clean her clock, based on her record.
As part of Mrs. Sauerbrey's Towson news conference, a campaign aide toppled a three-legged stool, atop which sat a baby doll made up to resemble Mrs. Bentley.
But the usually cantankerous Mrs. Bentley refused to rise to the bait. She did offer to buy the doll -- if it was "nice looking."
The doll -- with blond hair similar to Mrs. Bentley's -- had eye makeup drawn on it and red lipstick spread about its mouth. Dressed in a red, white and blue skirt with GOP elephants around the hem (a Bentley trademark), it also sported a pin with a picture of Gov. William Donald Schaefer that read "Big Brother is Watching."
Attached to the doll by a leash was a toy, stuffed poodle -- a parody of Tiffany, Mrs. Bentley's pet poodle-spaniel.
"Tiffany will be offended, but I'm so glad that they love me so much," she said. "Imitation is the greatest form of flattery."
Asked whether her personality had been permanently altered to that of a kinder, gentler pol, Mrs. Bentley replied, "I'll tell you after the election." Wishes for Mrs. Clarke
You've heard of being "slipped a Mickey," but "pulling a Mickey"?
It's a new variation on the old Mickey theme, coined by Baltimore Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson III, one of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's political operatives.
Mr. Henson floated the expression as a would-be curse on City Council President Mary Pat Clarke's chances for a mayoral bid after Mr. Schmoke failed last month to squeeze the votes out of the council for his choice to replace indicted city Comptroller Jacqueline F. McLean.
That power struggle, in which Mrs. Clarke forced a stalemate, foreshadowed what Mr. Henson apparently sees as a bigger fight looming in 1995.
"I hope Mary Pat 'pulls a Mickey,' " he said off-handedly, referring to the possibility of Mrs. Clarke's mayoral candidacy imploding before a Schmoke-Clarke race next year.
Mr. Henson was referring to the campaign missteps of Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg, the one-time Democratic front-runner for governor, who fell to fourth in the polls.
When told of the comment, Mrs. Clarke grinned, saying, "That's what they say on the street, too -- it's mine to lose."