The state of the state is...how to put this?
Gov. Martin O'Malley will soon stand up in the House of Delegates chamber in Annapolis to expound on the state of the state of Maryland. The traditional money line in such an endavor is a resounding, "The state of our state is strong!" But how exactly do you couch things at a time when the unemployment rate is rising ("The state of our state is not as bad as other states"), the deficit has a $2 billion hole ("The state of our state is broke"), juveniles are being killed at an alarming rate in Baltimore ("The state of our state is dangerous"), the Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals are nowhere near being met ("The state of our state is polluted") and we're digging out from an ice storm ("The state of our state is slippery").
NPR addressed this issue a week ago with a story about all the ways governors are evading this tricky little question during a bad season for just about everybody. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius: "The state of our state is not defined by ending balances...It's about the quality and character of the Kansas people." And that was one of the more optimistic assessments. Check back here and on my Twitter feed, www.twitter.com/andrewagreen, for updates during and after O'Malley's speech.