Glendening Glad to Get Schaefer's Backing
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 12, 1998; Page C01
BALTIMORE, June 11 Gov. Parris N. Glendening and his predecessor William Donald Schaefer officially buried the hatchet today.
After a decade or so of mutual carping and occasional slights, Schaefer endorsed fellow Democrat Glendening for reelection, saying Maryland voters have no reason to look at other candidates.
Acknowledging that it hasn't always been "peaches and cream" between them, Schaefer said Glendening has done a fine job improving education, reducing crime and boosting the Maryland economy.
"I don't think you can let personalities into something so important as supporting the governor," Schaefer said. "It's above whether I like him or don't like him I do, by the way it's too important for the state."
Glendening said he asked the former governor for support four years ago as Schaefer left office. "He said, 'I might think about it a bit later,'" Glendening said, chuckling. "And here we are."
Glendening has reason to be pleased. The governor been looking to shore up support in Baltimore since Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke endorsed one of Glendening's Democratic rivals, Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann. Schaefer remains a popular figure in the city, where he was mayor for 14 years, and he is close to many members of the city's business elite, not all of whom have warmed to Glendening.
Schaefer and Glendening have not been on the best of terms since Schaefer was governor. Glendening, then Prince George's county executive, criticized Schaefer for budget cuts that pinched local jurisdictions.
As governor, Glendening initially returned the negative feeling when he made sure that Schaefer, who had worked so hard to bring a football team back to Baltimore, was not on stage during his 1995 announcement that the National Football League was returning to Baltimore.
Glendening also angered Schaefer when he refused to appoint him to the board of St. Mary's College in 1995 because he said the former governor was contemplating another run for mayor of Baltimore; he relented only after Schaefer did not become a candidate.
But with a difficult reelection campaign looming, Glendening changed course and wooed his predecessor. Over the last years, Glendening said, he had begun meeting regularly with Schaefer over lunch. He invited the former governor to head a commission on the state's future and has appeared at events with him with increasing frequency.
"A lot of the things we've been able to do we're building on the some of the tough decisions Donald Schaefer made," Glendening said.
Advisers to the likely Republican nominee for governor, Ellen R. Sauerbrey, privately were disappointed, having hoped that Schaefer would stay neutral in the race. "He must hate Schmoke even more than he hates Glendening," Sauerbrey spokesman Jim Dornan said.
Schaefer may have his own motivations for the endorsement. He alienated many Democrats when he endorsed former President George Bush in 1992 and now is working to burnish his image as an elder statesman of the party. Some Democratic politicos believe that he may also have been motivated by his dislike for Larry Gibson, campaign manager for Rehrmann.
Schaefer returned Glendening's compliments today. Schaefer said he thinks the governor has developed an improved personal style. "I think he's much warmer. He talks to people," Schaefer said. "He's human now."
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