Gov. Larry Hogan will kick off a book tour later this month, joining well-known Republican figures to discuss his political memoir due out July 28, titled “Still Standing: Surviving Cancer, Riots, and the Toxic Politics that Divide America.”
Today’s announcement comes as the governor considers a 2024 run for president, according to The New York Times.
Proceeds from the “Still Standing,” published by BenBella Books, are going toward An America United, an advocacy group founded by Hogan that aims to break partisan gridlock in the country’s politics.
“After this November election is over, regardless of who wins, there are a large majority of Americans who are completely convinced our political system is fundamentally broken, and they’re going to be looking for something different,” Hogan told the Times‘ Luke Broadwater in an interview.
“Still Standing,” originally scheduled for release on June 9, tracks Hogan’s surprise win in blue Maryland, his battle with Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and his handling of the Baltimore Uprising early on in his term. It includes five chapters on the response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Hogan, chair of the National Governors Association, told the Times that President Donald Trump’s messaging on the virus “has been really bad.”
“It’s mixed messages — bouncing from one message to the other,” he said. “His entire administration is telling everyone to take it seriously while he tells everybody to not take it seriously.”
He said more than 10 planned book events, spread out from July to September, would not distract from his governing of the state.
Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore) challenged that assertion on Twitter, saying he was “elected to govern, not sell books.”
“We are in the midst of an economic disaster, public health crisis ([with] huge disparities), reckoning on the inequitable access to justice & prosperity & education… maybe you have enough to do?!” she tweeted.
Del. Vaughn Stewart (D-Montgomery County) questioned the timing of the book release while the state’s unemployment system remains “broken.”
“I doubt his vanity presidential run will receive much support from the thousands of Marylanders still waiting for their benefits,” he tweeted.
While Hogan has consistently enjoyed high approval ratings among Marylanders, Democrats in Annapolis have had several high-profile battles with the governor, dating back to when he canceled a planned east-west light rail line in Baltimore City in 2015.
They’ve also challenged him to increase education funding under proposals from the Kirwan Commission, which he vetoed earlier this year, and have voted to override past vetoes on “ban the box” legislation, raises in the state’s minimum wage, paid sick leave and other laws.
Later this month, Hogan will begin a series of virtual talks with high-profile Republicans, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Hollywood star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Those events have themes such as “Breaking Partisan Gridlock” (July 29 with Christie), “Restoring Trust in Public Service” (July 31 with Bush), “Fixing Toxic Politics” (Aug. 3 with Schwarzenegger), and “Leading Through Crisis” (Aug. 6 with Rice).
The governor is also scheduled for events with conservative-leaning organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute and the Hoover Institution, as well as college programs at Harvard University and the University of Michigan.
Hogan dismissed the idea of challenging sitting U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen in 2022, even though a poll showed he would be a formidable opponent in a state that hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate since Charles Mathias in 1980.
“I still have 31 months of being governor of Maryland,” he told the Times. “It’s not something I’m actively considering. Senate has not been the focus.”
It’s not clear how he would fare in a future in presidential contest.
Last year, when Hogan flirted with a primary challenge to Trump, a poll found that Hogan’s popularity did not carry over into head-to-head matchup with the president. Maryland Republicans said they would pick Trump by a 68 to 24 margin.