According to longstanding tradition, Maryland’s governor and lieutenant governor begin their terms with a ceremonial inauguration on the State House steps in January.
And if you peeked at the weather forecast for this particular ceremonial inauguration day, it did not look good. Earlier in the week, meteorologists predicted rain, snow, and freezing temperatures for January 19, just as Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown were expecting to share their vision for the next four years with supporters and citizens on Lawyers’ Mall.
But Wednesday morning came with dry and clear — but cold — winter skies. Perfect weather, relatively speaking, for an outdoor ceremony in January.
Introducing O’Malley, U.S. Sen Barbara Mikulski claimed that it was his “luck of the Irish” that made the weather brighten.
“Today’s forecast? Stormy weather. O’Malley changed that,” Mikulski quipped. As audience members laughed, she continued. “The economic forecast? Stormy weather. O’Malley changed that.”
Temperatures climbed into the upper 40s with a sometimes biting wind intermittently whipping by. Mikulski proclaimed Wednesday to be “a fair day for O’Malley, and a bad hair day for me.”
While Wednesday’s weather required no umbrellas or shovels, it still felt pretty cold to the people crowded onto Lawyers’ Mall. The chill didn’t do much to alter the politicians’ speeches or rush the day’s celebrations.
Mikulski’s introduction focused more on O’Malley as a person, rather than his politics or the contributions he’s made to Maryland.
According to Mikulski, O’Malley is the kind of person who will “stand up for the little guy or the little gal.” Mikulski, who has known the governor for 25 years, also told the story of when O’Malley met his future wife. He was serving as Mikulski’s field director, carrying the senator’s stool for her at a political event when he asked her about a girl he saw across the room.
“I said, that’s not a girl, that’s a woman,” Mikulski said. She said O’Malley then dropped her stool and spent the rest of the event trying to charm Katie Curran, the woman who would become Katie Curran-O’Malley.
The rest of the speeches — from U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and former Prince George’s County Executive Wayne Curry (who introduced Brown, a former representative of the county in the House of Delegates) Brown, and O’Malley — were filled with usual political rhetoric. They thanked nearly every politician in attendance, lauded the work of the last four years, but promised voters that they weren’t done yet.
And in truth, they weren’t. The celebration went on that afternoon with the O’Malleys welcoming guests in a receiving line in Government House, and continued into the night with an “Inaugural Celebration” at the Fifth Regiment Armory in Baltimore.
However, it is guaranteed that guests at those events — plus the guests of honor themselves — were warmer.
–Megan Poinski and Abby Rogers
Megan@MarylandReporter.com and Abby@MarylandReporter.com