After the death penalty debate, how does O'Malley look?
The governor who pledged to use all his (considerable) power to repeal Maryland's death penalty this year has been pretty muted in his response since the Senate voted yesterday to limit but not end capital punishment here. Yesterday afternoon, O'Malley's office released this statement:
"This is a painfully difficult issue. I appreciate that the full Senate chose to consider the important work and conclusions of the Death Penalty Commission.”
“While I do not think we can ever make the application of human justice perfect, the amendments passed in the Senate strengthen the standard of proof required to apply the death penalty in Maryland.”
“Last year, we achieved the second largest reduction in homicides in Maryland since 1985. Our mission to improve public safety in every community and neighborhood in our State continues.”
(I think that last paragraph is actually just part of the signature line on the press office e-mail account; it seems to pop up quite a lot in their press releases.)
That doesn't quite sound like somebody declaring victory. O'Malleywatch (not surprisingly) had a particularly stinging analysis of how this makes the governor look inside the Annapolis bubble. But will this register outside State Circle? Does it make him look weak in the eyes of voters, does it look like he got as much as could be gotten, or do people have other things on their minds and not really care?