O'Malley to begin second term today
The governor's been preparing for the speech in part by reading the beginning-of-term addresses given across the country by his fellow governors. "You see a theme emerging of the choices, the investments, the things we need to do" to return the country to a more prosperous path, he said in a recent interview.
O'Malley referred to some GOP governors as the "new secessionists" who are part of "the make government go away crowd."
"The language is different then the language you are hearing from the Democratic governors," O'Malley said. "The difference between us and them is we're in the fight for our future. We have to make the right decisions today. There is certain urgency."
O'Malley was particularly stuck by a speech given earlier this month by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, another second-term Democrat who presides over a left-of-center state. Patrick stressed that his state leads the country in education and health care, and is creating jobs at a fast clip. Gloucester Times writer Chris Cassidy summarized the speech thusly: "It laid out an agenda of creating jobs, strengthening schools, cutting health care costs and ending urban violence."
O'Malley said it "might have been given in Maryland."
After a 14-point victory in a Republican year, O'Malley enters his second term in a position of enviable strength, a topic we wrote about in today's Sun. He also benefits from a Democratic-controlled state legislature at home and a new national position as the head of the DGA, which could let him reach a wider audience.
But he also faces challenges: He says this year's budget will the the toughest he's ever introduced and he also hopes to tackle the ballooning pension costs this year.
Among the dignitaries expected to attend today's festivities is Virgina Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican who worked actively to unseat O'Malley during the recent campaign. In one episode, the Virginia governor made a personal round of phone calls to reporters writing stories about the Republican Governors Association backing away from O'Malley's rival, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.