New Mexico is deservedly known as “The Land of Enchantment.”

But having been a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and broadcaster in 49 states, I can affirm from 12 years broadcasting in Baltimore that Maryland is undeniably “The Land of Political Enchantment.”

For example, currently running for governor is Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend – one of America’s political royal family, eldest child of the late Sen. Bobby Kennedy.

Until June 5, this attractive young mother of four was opposed by two male hunks: GOP Congressman Robert Ehrlich, one time captain of the Princeton football team and the Democrat mayor of Baltimore, Martin O’Malley.

Maryland’s political legend (former Baltimore mayor, governor and current comptroller) William Donald Schaefer has described O’Malley as “a good speaker, he is pretty and can play the banjo.”

O’Malley heads an Irish string band and appears in garb allowing full view of his bulging biceps, which drives females wild.

But Mayor O’Malley decided to drop out of the governor’s race. So he called what was announced by the Associated Press as a “press conference” (from which he fled with no conferring with any press).

This came after O’Malley finally endorsed the Democratic nominee this fall – without ever mentioning Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s name (the primary is not until September). Then, after reciting a long list of his achievements as mayor, O’Malley declared:

And against this backdrop of accomplishments, came a vacuum of leadership in the state Democratic Party, this year’s race for governor.

However, O’Malley went on to say:

Let me make one thing perfectly clear [who else said that?] I was not promised financial or political support in the future in return for not running.

This suggests that Kathleen Kennedy Townsend with her $6 million war chest is just the type to try to arrange such a sleazy buyout.

Candidate Ehrlich’s campaign office immediately published and widely distributed several other O’Malley maledictions of Townsend, such as:

I just haven’t seen any leadership coming from our party’s would-be candidate. I’m anxious to learn what she stands for beyond, “We’d like it to be a better place.” It’s not enough to say you are for mom and apple pie.

Candidate Townsend declined to fight back, suggesting O’Malley had overwhelmed her.

Instead, she announced that she will not debate candidate Ehrlich anytime before the Sept. 10 primary. This enables her to avoid the happily O’Malley-quoting Ehrlich for 79 of the 151 days before the election.

Maybe Kathleen Kennedy Townsend thinks that she can keep candidate Ehrlich constantly busy fighting off such political assassins as Robert Shrum and James Carville – while she glides effortlessly, and without any face-to-face debate, into the Executive Mansion in Annapolis.

But she should realize that Marylanders will demand that she take on Ehrlich. For Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is the only Kennedy who has ever lost an election – when she ran for Congress – in Maryland.

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