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No sharp elbows in Ocean City


As candidates' forums go, this one was a little unusual.

The Maryland Municipal League had invited the two Democrats running for governor as well as the Republican incumbent to participate in a forum this morning in Ocean City focused on the needs of cities and towns.

As of last week, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. had declined but Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) both planned to attend. Then came Duncan's unexpected annoncement Thursday that he was leaving the race to battle clinical depression.

That left O'Malley -- who was joined on stage this morning at a second podium not by a rival but by his running mate, Del. Anthony G. Brown (D-Prince George's).

The result was a far friendlier dynamic. Brown applauded some of O'Malley's answers. On other questions, O'Malley asked Brown to elaborate on what he had said or handed off the question altogether.

At one point, the moderator asked O'Malley how Duncan's departure had changed the race.

O'Malley paused, and then offered this observation to the several hundred municipal officials in attendance: "I guess it has given Anthony more podium time today, for one."

By John Wagner  |  June 27, 2006; 2:07 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Having Martin O'Malley and Anthony Brown together on the podium to discuss the issues reminds of the look-alike county executive "debates" we've had so far in Montgomery County, where Silverman and Leggett are carbon copies of each other. They never bring up the tough issues and there is no criticism. The difference is that O'Malley et. al want to debate the other side. Leggett and Silverman have refused all year and will duck till after the election if they can get away with it..

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Independent for County Executive | June 27, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't hold your breath, Robin, you're on the outside looking in.

Posted by: don't hold your breath | June 27, 2006 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Robin, O'Malley didn't want to debate Duncan--remember how afraid he was?

But you're right that it's funny anyone would report these two talking to each other. O'Malley's done nothing for Baltimore and somehow he's giving advice to others how to run their cities. Sort of like getting marital advice from Bill Clinton or Diplomacy lessons from North Korea.

Posted by: Bryan | July 2, 2006 9:03 PM | Report abuse

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