O'Malley talks pensions, education on national TV
He contrasted his style with Republican governors in Wisconsin and New Jersey who've aggravated public employee unions and slashed education funding. O'Malley's message: Democrats know how to balance a budget without starting a war.
"Education gets hit much harder" in states with Republican governors, O'Malley said.
Since becoming the head of the Democratic Governors Association last December, O'Malley has sought to raise his national profile, picking fights with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and conservative "tea partiers" at Democratic events in Virginia and New Jersey. He faced criticism for spending too much time on his new national job during the legislative session -- now that it is over many predict that he'll step up those appearances.
It remains to be seen how effectively O'Malley can nationalize his message. Maryland has never had the deep budget problems faced by states like Illinois, California and New York. That's in part because the state's economy is bolstered by steady federal government jobs and the recession didn't hit as hard here.