What got Larry Hogan to the place where he raises his right hand for the oath as governor is what one Hogan insider concedes was a perfect storm. The right political environment, a message to match it hatched by the candidate himself, a campaigner disciplined enough to communicate it relentlessly, and a campaign that made few mistakes and profited from the lackluster campaigns and mistakes of his competitors.
One of the ironies of Martin O'Malley's eight years as Maryland governor is that a progressive, liberal Democrat spent most of his time cutting budgets and raising taxes just to keep the ship of state afloat.
Another irony is that O'Malley started his tenure in 2007 by acting too slowly to stem a predicted tide of red ink in Annapolis. Now he is ending his second term by again responding too late to a huge, looming budget deficit.
However, when the history of the O'Malley years is assessed by scholars decades from now, what will stand out is the ease with which Maryland navigated the Great Recession -- the nation's worst economic decline since the 1930s.
For the umpteenth time in his two terms as governor, on Wednesday Martin O'Malley again touted that Maryland's public schools had been No. 1 in America for five years running from Education Week magazine. But Maryland's schools slipped a notch in the Education Week report card released Thursday, tripping to third place behind Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Twice a month for eight years, Gov. Martin O'Malley has presided over the Board of Public Works. Its three members all describe it as a unique institution in American state government where three independently elected state officials get to review every major government contract and purchase, from health insurance and prison food service to university dorms and wetland permits. Wednesday was O'Malley's last session as governor, and at Comptroller Peter Franchot's suggestion, the audience gave O'Malley a standing ovation.
Gov.-elect Larry Hogan and his top fiscal advisor, Bobby Neall, are scheduled to meet with reporters Thursday afternoon, "outlining the status of the state’s current fiscal crisis," says a press release from the transition.
What are some of the ways Hogan could begin implementing some of his promises without sending Democrats in the legislature to the barricades?
Saturday was another big day for Gov.-elect Larry Hogan after his 7-hour visit to the White House Friday. He and his wife Yumi got a tour of Government House from Gov. Martin O'Malley and his wife, Judge Catherine Curran (Katie) O'Malley, and before that he spoke to the Maryland Republican Party's convention meeting at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City.