Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers
The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight
• Donald Palmer. The new Secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections comes to the Commonwealth from Florida, where he saw the state through a hitch-free presidential election in 2008 and last year’s midterm elections. His appointment has spurred criticism from Virginia Democrats, who called the appointment partisan, but before Palmer worked in Florida, he was a lawyer in the Justice Department, where he focused on enforcing voting-rights law. If the rematch between Democratic senator Jim Webb and Republican former senator George Allen gets heated, Palmer could find his office turning into a flash point.
• DeAngelo Hall. The Redskins cornerback gave fans of the beleaguered franchise something to feel good about this weekend after he was named most valuable player at the Pro Bowl Sunday. It’s an honor the team hasn’t taken home since 1984. Hall recorded six tackles, an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble return. Let’s just hope the galvanizing effect of Hall’s great play lasts all the way until next August: The Skins need some inspiration after a dispiriting 2010-11 season.
• Lauren Kardos. The George Washington University junior and 13 of her fellow students in a semester-abroad program in Egypt are trying to balance witnessing history with their obligations as accidental representatives of the United States. We hope they—and Georgetown University students in Egypt—make it home safe. Once they’re back, we’d love to hear what they saw at the revolution.
• Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The mayor plans to unveil a new elections district map today. Critics say it could give an edge to Rawlings-Blake’s allies in upcoming city-council races, while supporters argue that the new map will bring neighborhoods divided by previous maps into new and coherent districts. Either way, there’s no arguing with a scary number: Baltimore’s population slide continued as the city lost 20,000 residents in the last ten years at a time when DC’s population topped 600,000, recording growth for the first time in five decades, and the map had to change to acknowledge that challenge to Baltimore’s future.