Saturday, December 24, 2005

Gubernatorial Christmas Cards

The Washington Post reports on gubernatorial Christmas cards:

Across Maryland, Republicans and probably a few Democrats are opening their mailboxes this month to find the smiling faces of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and his family.

That's because Ehrlich (R) sent out 40,000 holiday cards this year, more than any other governor in the country, according to a nationwide survey conducted by, a Web site that chronicles trends in state politics.

The next closest, at 27,500, was Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D).

"What can I say?" Ehrlich spokeswoman Shareese DeLeaver said... "The governor has a lot of friends and supporters, which will become more evident in the coming year."

Ehrlich's mailing, which comes as he prepares for next year's reelection bid, is remarkable not just for its reach. He is one of just nine governors whose card includes the words "Merry Christmas" -- in Ehrlich's case, it is part of the inside greeting -- a sentiment not even President Bush conveyed.

Elsewhere around the Beltway:

Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) stayed holiday-neutral, mailing roughly 10,000 "season's greetings." His cards, like Ehrlich's, proclaim that the greetings do not come at taxpayer expense. D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) sent out about 10,000 cards with no reference to Christmas.


Rabbi Eli Backman, director of the University of Maryland Bais Menachem Chabad Jewish Student Center, said the concern over holiday cards has been overblown. "If somebody tells me 'Merry Christmas,' I would nod my head and say, 'Thank you,' " Backman said. "And nobody is assuming if they say 'Happy Hanukkah' that they are endorsing your religion."

The article also reports on the various "holiday" practices of smaller local governments, but it bored me.

Merry Christmas, Governor Ehrlich.

I haven't received any Christmas cards from governors, but I did report on the White House Christmas Card.

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