By David Gutman and Julie Baughman, Capital News Service
Maryland delegates were still crowing about President Bill Clinton's Wednesday night speech at their breakfast meeting Thursday.
"He was just awesome. He is truly a master," Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker III said. "To put in context about what this election is all about, what President Obama has done and why we need him, nobody can do it better than Bill Clinton."
Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin agreed and said, "I'm so proud of the fact that he is so engaged in this election. He wants to see America succeed and he understands the choice that we have to make ... I think President Clinton laid out the entire game plan for the Democrats."
Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Yvette Lewis said Clinton, "articulated so well everything about this president's record that has been so distorted and vilified."
Former Gov. Parris Glendening agreed with Lewis and remarked about how well Clinton executed his convention role.
"He had one role ... to very clearly and forcefully rebut the claims that were made by the Republicans, and he did that. He did that really well," Glendening said.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Rep. Elijah Cummings in addition to Cardin and Lewis all helped cast the state's 124 votes for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention early Thursday morning.
O'Malley led off and addressed Alice Germond, the secretary of the Democratic National Committee.
"Madam secretary, madam secretary, Maryland, the Old Line State, the original land of the free and home of the brave, the number one state for innovation and entrepreneurship, the number one state for four years in a row for public education in America, has a great vote to cast here, but we have a couple more things we'd like to share with you."
Cardin then took the microphone.
"Working with our great Gov. Martin O'Malley we have driven down violent crime in our state by 30 percent, made college more affordable for the people of our state, looking forward to the Baltimore Orioles winning the World Series and the Ravens and the Redskins meeting in the Super Bowl."
(In rehearsing his remarks beforehand, Cardin joked that his Orioles prediction would damage his credibility.)
Next up was Rep. Elijah Cummings.
"Maryland: Where we move forward, not back and Maryland, where we will re-elect the greatest senator in the world, Ben Cardin!"
And, after the home state chauvinism, the official business:
"I am Yvette Lewis. I am the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party and we proudly cast 124 votes for President Barack Obama!"