Political Analysis: Gov. Martin O’Malley Trying to Reach a New Plateau
By Charles Robinson, Senior Correspondent
(CHARLOTTE – September 6, 2012) - The moment never seems to add up to expectation and the expectation never seems to add up to the moment. It is exactly what faced Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley Tuesday night. The delegation was ready, but was America ready?
I was next to the Maryland delegation while the speech was being delivered. At the beginning I wondered out loud where are we going into "metaphor hell again" as he told the tale of the struggle of a young nation at the famed Fort McHenry. As he moved to the present, things go better. Here's what I believe he had to do.
Key element #1: Talk about sacrifices and family, check that off as accomplished.
Key Element #2: Get buy-in from the audience. This came in with a simple call and response, "Forward not back."
Key Element #3: Changing minds. There are some questions as to whether he accomplished this task (TV numbers from last night show the audience was smaller than the GOP Convention).
A majority of those who spoke like Newark Mayor Corey Booker, and Massachusetts Governor Duvall Patrick seem to "have a fired-up attitude." They spoke with conviction and O'Malley rose to the occasion. The crowd seemed to relish in the idea of being patriotic about where you "stash your cash". "Governor Romney, just because you bank against the United States of America doesn’t mean the rest of us are willing to sell her out...we are Americans."
Red meat for a crowd wanting to show contrast between the GOP and DNC: The delegation made up of Maryland's political hierarchy warmly received the Governor. It included Representatives Elijah Cummings, C.A "Dutch" Ruppersberger, and Donna Edwards. There were County Executives Kevin Kamenetz, Rushern Baker, Isiah Leggett, and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake.
John Wagner of the Washington Post seemed to come to the same collusion, "reaction was mixed."
Following the speech, a lot of exuberance came from the Governor’s supporters. It was something that made me feel proud as a home grown guy from Maryland, said Rep. Ruppersberger. The Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown to revelled in the things he heard from his boss. He reflected "in 2010 when we were on the campaign when Governor O'Malley was asking if you want to move forward or back and it was pretty exciting, but to do that in a crowd of 16,000 and get them to respond that’s pretty exciting."
The cast is now engaged, the Governor becomes one of the leading contenders for President in 2016.