Posted: Jan. 5, 2015


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

There is nothing like a New Year -- and a new election cycle! -- for thinking about what could make Delaware and certain Delawareans have a happy one in 2015.

Tom Carper

Poor Carper. Ever since he swapped Dover for D.C. by getting elected in 2000 as a Democratic senator, he has described himself as a "recovering governor." Now the Republicans are about to take over the U.S. Senate, so what Carper could use is another 12-Step program, because he is also about to be a "recovering committee chair."

John Carney

Give Carney a tune-up for his second fiddle, the political instrument he has played his entire career in statewide office. He was the lieutenant governor. Then he went to the Congress, where he is in the minority of minorities, a still-junior Democratic congressman in a state delegation of one among a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

Oh, and second string to Beau Biden, in case the Democrats need a backup for governor in 2016.

Jack Markell

With two years to go until the expiration date on Markell's second term as the Democratic governor, what he needs is to get noticed enough by Hillary Clinton, in the event she has to put together a Cabinet, but not so much that she remembers Markell was the very first statewide officeholder to endorse Barack Obama once Joe Biden was knocked out of the presidential race in 2008.

Matt Denn

As the incoming Democratic attorney general, Denn already got what he could use. It was Newsweek magazine hanging the name "Murder Town USA" on Wilmington, which is about as bad as bad can be. It means Denn has the opportunity to employ the First Rule of Good Government, as articulated by Pete du Pont, the Republican ex-governor:

Enter the battle at is lowest moment, because there is nowhere to go but up.

Chip Flowers

Ask not what Delaware is giving to Flowers, but what Flowers is giving to the state. As the abdicating Democratic state treasurer, he is leaving. Think of it as Delaware's own little "Massachusetts Miracle."

Ken Simpler

Simpler is coming in as the Republican state treasurer with the best kind of beginning a virgin officeholder could want. He gets a broom to sweep out the place and a blank slate for himself.

Beau Biden

As Biden moves from two terms as the Democratic attorney general to the sidelines, he gets to star in his own Delaware version of "Frozen," which is what state politics is, until people know for sure if he is running for governor in 2016.