States of the State: A Retrospective
Gov. Martin O'Malley has now delivered four years' worth of State of the State addresses. I've mined the Baltimore Sun archives for highlights from previous years. Let's start with the one he delivered at noon today:
Quotable line: “... A dark thing that has penetrated deep into our collective soul ... that somehow we are destined to decline, backslide and fail.”
Notable theme: Jobs, jobs. jobs. About 30 mentions, in fact.
Republican reaction: “There seemed to be a disconnect with sincerity and a disconnect with reality,” said Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell, the House of Delegates minority leader. “People have struggled mightily over the past three or four years, as he has raised every kind of tax imaginable. And now he wants sympathy and to form some kind of bond with those people?”
Note: MarylandReporter.com has created a snazzy word cloud with this year's speech.
Quotable line: "Two reasons. Barack ... Obama." O'Malley delivered that line as he told lawmakers the final budget they consider in April will likely be better than the one he submitted to them.
Notable theme: The new president will help us.
Republican reaction: Senate Minority Leader Allan H. Kittleman described the address as "the most partisan speech I have ever seen from the State of the State." Del. Warren E. Miller, a Howard County Republican, called the address "heavy on partisan rhetoric, light on relief for our taxpayers."
Quotable line: "The people of our state deserve a state government that works as hard as they do."
Notable theme: "The most important days in life are not always the easy days," he said three times in his address, acknowledging the pain many Marylanders are feeling from a slowing economy and the state's efforts to balance its budget.
Republican reaction: Del. Christopher B. Shank, a Western Maryland Republican and the minority whip, said O'Malley was right to say Marylanders are hurting. "But what he failed to do is recognize that one of the reasons for the hurt is that he pushed one of the largest tax increases in Maryland's history through the General Assembly," Shank said.
Quotable line: "We cannot resolve every unsettled issue in just 90 days, nor can we heal in 90 days divisions that were four years in the making. But we must do all that we can to maximize the effectiveness of this session and these four years for the people of our state."
Notable theme: Let's work together.
Republican reaction: Shank said O'Malley has taken no real steps to close the projected budget shortfall this year, and that will only make the problem worse next year. "It's setting the stage for a massive tax increase next session. I didn't follow the metaphor about bread and fishes, but it sounded like taxes to me."