It comes with a caveat.  To succeed he must return to his liberal roots. The ones he ran on in 2008 and before.  I often hear newcomers praise Matt Denn and in the same breath curse Jack Markell. They probably do not know that at one time they were like butt-buddies in philosophy and direction. Both early supporters of Blue Water Wind over the evil Delmarva Power. (only 8 years ago). Both were against the Death Penalty.  Both were for extending rights to Gays. Both were for helping the little guy. Both were against Charters. And both were against man made Global warming, and those corporate extremists who made it happen.  Both were pro-business but it had to be ethical business. neither supported being for business so it could continue its unethical business practices…. Both were pro-FOIA, opening government to the scrutiny of its citizenry. Both were against Thurm Adams and his desk drawer veto.

it’s funny when newcomers try to take the current Markell back through his role as Treasurer as proof of his evil ways. For he wasn’t evil back then at all.  He was a champion for reform, so much so that he challenged and won the governorship over the Democratic Party’s pre-chosen candidate, John Carney, who was seen as less the progressive.

It’s funny what a few years can do.

But Markell’s track record puts him in very good position to be a leading progressive candidate if he were to try. What better argument against Conservative counter punches could be made than this?

When I was governor and ran a state, I tried exactly what you propose…and it didn’t work.. What would have worked better would have been this:  and then list progressive policy….

Still skeptical?  Try these then make up your own…..

“When I was governor I tried cutting back on state spending by attempting to cut to my state employees salaries by 8% and my legislature held it to a 2% decrease.  One would think that such a streamlining of expense would decrease taxation and cause businesses to move in and create growth. Instead, as the state’s largest employer those cuts had a 1.6% multiplier aggravating the economic damage.  Fewer revenues then expected were generated the next year because it hurt those who lived on those earning government salaries as well. With hindsight, the proper approach would have been to keep them the salaries continuous, and to apply a tax on the top echelon who survived the depression rather well, and  use that new revenue as the funding for the existing government…. As the economy improved, taxes could be lightened…  That would have worked faster than the conservative approach I took.”

When I was governor I pushed Common Core hard.  I led the nation in its implementation, though held off on being the first to use the test. I still believe some things in Common Core are good for society but with hindsight, I would divorce Common Core tests from being used as the sole ranking of teachers and schools. We found that no matter how hard we pushed accelerated learning, that having one standard set high for all, was defeating.  A lower standard set for all works better because there is some realistic chance for all to achieve it.  Those on the bottom CAN become proficient with lots of hard work. We found that even our best teachers in our worst schools still gave us the worst scores in our state. We found that mediocre teachers in our best classes still had the best scores.  In essence we found no correlation between test scores and quality of teaching.  All test scores do we found, is measure the quality of prenatal and infant care. With hindsight, I would say that to do well for our students, all of our students, we need to focus mostly on increasing the human element of education, and particularly in schools of high risk, where the poverty level is over 50% of the student body, we must guarantee an 11:1 student/teacher ratio, insist that it happens and willingly pay for its expense.

When I was governor I tried wooing companies into my state with bribes.  I offered no taxes. state loans. even support fees tacked to citizens electricity bills.  This was done primarily to develop jobs which were much needed in my state. With hindsight I would have focused more on making sure economic demand remained high instead of trying to get new business to come in.  If the demand had stayed at pre-depression levels, jobs would have stayed and remained  Instead we gambles on a few temporary jobs involving construction and then when they evaporated we were left continuing to pay the costs, which even today drag down the economy.

When I was governor, we had a automobile plant close up and a possible buyer for it needing some money up front to purchase it.  We helped them but they went bankrupt.  We lost our loans which we thought were guaranteed to be refunded from sale of its assets.  Turns out corporate raiders were ahead of us in line.  That points out a discrepancy in law needing adjusted.  There is no way private investors putting up money at risk, fully knowing the risk, get first dibs of return over a government who puts up the people’s money to benefit its people.  That was just plain wrong and an inexperienced candidate will fall into the same trap as did I. I know ahead of time it does not work.

When I was governor I tried to put in a toxic power plane in the middle of our college town.  i thought that any reason to create jobs was reason enough.  We tried very hard to engineer the town council and the electorate in order to get proper votes and we succeeded there. However the university walked away from the deal and the deal died.  With hindsight, I would not put in a dirty power plant just for jobs.  Oil, gas, and coal are done. There are always other options and anything that destroys the atmosphere and our climate, though helpful in the short run, cost far more in the long run than other cleaner alternatives.  In truth we misjudged the sophistication of our electorate and their ability to counter our claims with scientific fact, which turned the population against us.  The answer I can tell you to America’s future energy is in pursuing the clean energy options and by increasing their efficiency, we lower the cost per kilowatt. Any other way just does not work.

When I was governor I tried getting rid of our Port which is run by the state, by selling it to a private company Kinder Morgan. i thought we had negotiated a very good deal guaranteeing wages at current level for 3 years, and keeping everyone employed the same length of time.  However, anytime one privatizes something that is state owned, it is an economic loss to the surrounding area.  Private companies hire less than state because they run more efficiently. However, that also means less income and less tax pours into the city.  With hindsight, I have learned that privatization is good if the public receives a benefit from better efficiency.  But that it is bad, if the service being privatized is something that belongs to all, or requires constant upkeep and maintenance, in which case state ownership is better than private.  When our state legislature passed legislation making them the final arbiter of decision, my client pulled out of the deal and the port is doing fine still under state control.  I’m here to tell you that privatization of public works only benefits those who buy the operation at a low cost…. There is a reason they were originally state run and that is they are there to serve you first.

When I was governor i tried to weaken our environmental policy in order to bring in jobs.  Some companies were used to not having to comply to environmental regulations and they were the only ones who seemed interested in our properties. So we catered to them.   We were able to hide most environmental problems and get approval by most local governments.  But with hindsight, I would argue now for the other extreme. Protect the environment at all costs.  We can always pass on jobs. They are temporal; they rise and fall. But damage to the environment is almost generational, lasting as long as humans are alive. There are always new jobs being created; every day something new is created. But environmental damage is very harmful and lasts a long, long time, It continues doing its damage long after whatever company that caused it has folded and those jobs are now three states away….   I have learned by being governor that the most important thing we have is our environment and that never should we let temporary jobs blind us to the loss of many future jobs because of our polluted lifestyle..


As a Presidential candidate these arguments would be hard to bust with theoreticals.  Nothing works as well as saying I tried that, it doesn’t work.  it would also focus the argument on policy instead of personal traits, something our media is scared to do.

The combination of a sharp younger looking candidate saying the right things people are dying to hear, would do well for our current governor if he ran as a liberal in 2016… And if he rigged the Delaware primary to be on January 2nd, ahead of all others, he would be the leader for a while with three delegates.

I know many are skeptical. But seeing Markell in action readily shows he can be presidential material. but only if he runs now, and only if he uses his mistakes to burst the bubbles always painted for Democrats by their Republican opponents.  He plays a room well.  He only gets in trouble by those outside the room who don’t appreciate what he is doing.  If he just return to his own roots, and ditch the pro-business persona he has taken on, he could go far, possibly being offered the Vice Presidency on a winning ticket if he just would be more liberal.

The very reasons his detractors are calling for his head, would make him a great leader if he was only on the right side of the issues for a change…..