Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Observations from Maryland Inauguration

Annapolis, MD – The official swearing in ceremonies for the top two elected officials in the state came on one of the warmest days of the event that I have ever covered. Inaugurations are mandated by the constitution. They are conducted on the second Wednesday of January. There are actually two ceremonies. The Governor and the Lieutenant Governor are sworn in before a joint session of the legislature. Then the event is repeated outdoors before the public.

As protocol would have it, the Lieutenant Governor goes first and then the Governor. The ceremony is always conducted by the Chief Judge of the State of Maryland. For the last four governors it’s been Judge Robert Bell doing the swearing in. (I’m a big fan of the judge – first he’s one of the sharpest dressers I have ever met, and you know “he’s all that” because he cares “a man purse.” I ain’t mad at the judge.) Today he told he toned down his outfit. He was draped with a scarf that matched his bow tie. I thought his shoes were Bally’s (for sure Italian) and he wore a dark blue Berea. He looked like he just left the “Left Bank” in Paris, France.

Each of the speeches was a challenge to the audiences.

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm!!!

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was supposed to be the Mistress of Ceremonies, instead Speaker of the House Michael Busch filled in. Mayor Rawlings-Blake was attending the funeral of Baltimore Police Officer William H. Torbit, Jr., who was shot and killed outside a downtown nightclub. Also spotted in the crowd was Baltimore Councilman Carl Snowden who has announced he will try for third time to become Mayor of Baltimore.

The announcement of Senator Alan Kittleman stepping down as Minority Leader was a big buzz among legislators. Democrats praised his stance of same sex marriage. Republicans seem to accept his decision to take up the issue of civil unions. Senator E.J. Pipken summed up what most in the GOP were thinking, “We wanted to make sure it wasn’t a Republican position.” The likely successor will be Senator David Brinkley.

Joining the Marylanders at this event were Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray and Virginia Governor Robert McDonald.

Lastly, as I watched Lt. Governor Anthony Brown I noticed only his children were in attendance. Lieutenant Governor Brown has not hidden the fact his marriage has had “some challenges.” I’m guessing this confirms the Lieutenant Governor is now the state’s most eligible bachelor. Is there a potential shot he could become America’s next reality star?

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