Maryland Democrats, divided and depleted, turn to Matthews to energize party
The photo was as pleasing for Maryland's Democratic elders as it was infuriating for their critics on their left.
There stood Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and Reps. Steny H. Hoyer and Elijah E. Cummings - three men with an average age of 72 and a combined 87 years in Congress - smiling broadly alongside their new interim state party chair: former television anchor and Marriott executive Kathleen Matthews.
The trio of lawmakers see Matthews, 63, as the jolt of energy the party needs as it heads into a crucial 2018 campaign season. "She's a great communicator, and she knows how to raise money," Cardin said.
For many in the party's progressive wing, however, her selection March 1 - and her likely election by the full state central committee on Saturday - illustrates a dispiriting adherence to the status quo: another anointment by the same circle of insiders who have run the state party for more than a generation.