Gov. Martin O'Malley Shines in Convention Role

The Maryland governor focused his speech on taking the nation forward with Obama.

By Julye Baughman, Capital News Service

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley used his prime-time slot at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday to make the case for Obama's record on jobs and the economy.

The president "is moving America forward, not back," O'Malley repeated, hammering home the Obama campaign's slogan. Five times, he encouraged the crowd to chant along with him and wave their "Forward. Not Back" signs in unison.

"Democratic governors, with the support of our president, are leading their states forward—putting job creation first, balancing budgets, protecting priorities, making the tough decisions, right now, to create jobs and expand opportunity," O'Malley said. "Together with President Obama, we are moving America forward, not back."

A full version of O'Malley's prepared speech can be found to the right of this post.

No other governors are scheduled to speak in primetime, providing Maryland delegates a rare chance to cheer on their home-state governor at the convention.

O'Malley took the fight directly to the Republicans, too, saying, "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan now say they want to take America back. And so we ask: Back to what? Back to the failed policies that drove us into a deep recession? ... No thank you. I don't want to go back."

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said O'Malley did exactly what he needed to do in order to set the stage for the election.

"I thought Governor O'Malley set the right tone and he made it clear that this election is about choice," Brown said.

Brown also was pleased O'Malley highlighted Maryland's successes in the speech and their importance in relation to the national campaign.

"I think there's a very clear contrast. The governor appropriately pointed to successes in Maryland which are based in large part on what the president has been doing on a national level," Brown said.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III tweeted about the speech from the Democratic National Convention.

"Great job @governoromalley. Let's move our country forward... Not back. Let's get ready to re-elect President Barack Obama," Baker tweeted.

Others took to their social media too, check out the Storify by Capital News Service with tweets from those amped to hear from O'Malley.

Yvette Lewis, chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party, said she was proud of her governor. Lewis said she was so overwhelmed at one point that she couldn't even speak anymore.

"I couldn't even cheer," Lewis said. "I just wanted to sit there and absorb it."

O'Malley's speech came after long day with a packed schedule.

He began the morning by leading the Maryland delegation in the now iconic "Fired up! Ready to go!" chant, popularized by President Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign, and giving a short speech Tuesday morning at a breakfast hosted by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.

Tuesday was O'Malley day at the Democratic National Convention—he gave a high-profile convention speech, roused the Maryland delegation, spoke briefly on the floor as a Rules Committee co-chairman and spoke on behalf of his home state at the Democratic Governor's Association panel on the economy.

Shortly after breakfast, O'Malley arrived in the Google tent in uptown Charlotte to participate in the "Growing Our Economy and Investing in Infrastructure" panel featuring other notable participants, including Coca-Cola Co. President and CEO Steve Cahillane, Microsoft Vice President U.S. Public Sector Curt Kolcun and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

The group discussed the importance of spending, job creation and investment in infrastructure in growing our economy, a recurring theme in O'Malley's comments throughout the day.

That afternoon, O'Malley helped the Maryland delegation honor Sargent Shriver, who ran on George McGovern's 1972 ticket, at the Mint Museum in downtown Charlotte before preparing for the night's opening convention session.

When asked what Obama needs to do in order to clinch the election win, O'Malley reverted to his stance on the importance of employment.

"Job growth will help us bring down our deficit, job growth will help us feed our children, job growth is what makes us strong as a country and allows us to educate higher and better levels of every generation," he said.

O'Malley was modest about his not-so-modest role in the convention this week and said he was here solely to support Obama and ensure his re-election. However, political observers say O'Malley may have his eyes on the 2016 presidential race.

"I'm all about the president," O'Malley said. "This is not the Martin O"Malley story, nor frankly, is it the Maryland story. This is about President Obama and the better choices he's making, the choices that are moving us forward."

Patch Editor Sonia Dasgupta contributed to this report.

jag September 06, 2012 at 04:30 AM
@Jim Burnetti Right, 3,000 construction jobs to build the new berth and 2700 jobs to run the expanded port. I'd love to know why you hate the idea of all those MD jobs along w/the 1.8 BILLION in new revenue the expanded port will produce over the lease life. P.S. you have no idea what you're talking about. Name the American company that submitted a similar bid to produce the Super Post Panamax cranes needed that O'Malley turned down for the Chinese company. Name it. You can't because it doesn't exist. You ignore (or, rather, are ignorant of) what's important - $1.8 BILLION and 6000 jobs and whine about something that's A. inconsequential and B. doesn't even make sense. You don't even have basic knowledge of what you're whining like a baby about. How embarrassing. P.P.S. O'Malley creating jobs and expanding our economy doesn't even have anything to do with Romney sheltering his money in foreign bank accounts to evade paying taxes.
RVN6768 September 07, 2012 at 02:43 PM
O'Malley traveled several times to Ireland , on the taxpayer's dime. Ostensibly, this was to set up a partnership for future ecomonic growth, bringing more jobs to Maryland. Exactly how many jobs have we secured with his forays to the Emerald Isle?
RVN6768 September 07, 2012 at 02:48 PM
jag, did you ever wonder why there isn't an American company that can produce the cranes? Your fairy tale is nice, for all those union workers...why is Maryland losing businesses to Northern Virginia...Owe Malley is doing a great job...right
jag September 07, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Cheap labor and cheap steel in China, what's your point? You wish America looked like China? Cool. Move there. Enjoy the penny wages and free carcinogens. Blah blah, NoVa is so great. You win, liberals do it right. You're probably right, if all of MD was as Blue as inside the beltway MoCo and NoVa then we'd be even better off.
macadoodle September 21, 2012 at 11:18 PM
The adulatory headline gives your liberal bias away in a remarkable way. How about just reporting the facts without your obviously smitten commentary? There were conflicting opinions on the quality of the speech given by the MD governor, some not necessarily positive. This report could have been written by the Governor's own PR department and not someone who pretends to be an objective journalist. Am tempted to say - shame on you - but today's chattering sycophantic media have no shame at all.


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