O'Malley takes oath, delivers inaugural remarks
Gov. Martin Joseph O’Malley touched on themes of unity and progress in his inaugural address, delivered this afternoon on the steps of the State House shortly after he was sworn in for a second term.
The governor used the word “forward” a dozen times to express his hope that over the next four years the state will see businesses expand, education increase, crime go down, and the environment improve.
He urged tolerance and respect.
“We need each other just as much as the next generation needs us,” O’Malley said. “We cannot allow our individual sense of entitlement to tear apart our shared sense of community.”
He highlighted what he saw as his greatest achievements from the first term, including investments in bio-tech, renewable energy, lower homicide rates and decreased traffic deaths, and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
The address was short on specifics. O’Malley will unveil his budget Friday and introduce his legislative agenda for the 90-day session next week. Next month, he will deliver a State of the State address.
A festive mood ruled the capital Thursday, with the House and Senate meeting for a joint session to certify the November gubernatorial election results. Uniformed members of the Maryland National Guard milled around the State House hall, which were so slick from a new polish that lawmakers were slipping on the marble.
At noon, lawmakers assembled in the Senate chamber watch Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell administer the oath of office, first to Lt. Gov. Antony Gregory Brown and then to O’Malley.
The governor’s youngest son, Jack, 8, held a bible while O’Malley repeated the oath. Afterward O’Malley bent down, kissed the boy’s head and said, “You did a great job.”
The inaugural address followed on the steps of the State House. Onlookers packed Lawyer’s Mall for the ceremony, which was billed as a toned down affair compared with the pomp and celebration four years ago. An inaugural ball in Baltimore is planned for tonight.
Luminaries in the audience included Washington’s new mayor, Vincent Gray, a Democrat, and Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, a Republican who had actively campaigned against O’Malley. Also in the audience were Martin Curran, a cousin of O’Malley’s wife, O’Malley’s campaign manager Tom Russell and campaign volunteers and State House and administration employees.
Fewer state troopers attended; many law enforcement officers instead were in Baltimore for the funeral of city police officer Baltimore Officer William H. Torbit Jr., who was killed by another officer in a friendly fire encounter outside a nightclub. Another man and four others, including another officer, were also shot.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also was absent from the inauguration to be in Baltimore for the funeral.
-- By Annie Linskey.