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The Real "Rock Star"

John Kane, chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, was a virtual quote machine yesterday afternoon as he enjoyed a beer and cigar at the 30th Annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield.

Among Kane's offerings at the event -- which he dubbed "the political Super Bowl of schmooze" -- was this assessment of the boisterous reception received by Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, the party's likely nominee for U.S. Senate this year:

"He's the real rock star," Kane said. "The other guy, he's just a back-up singer."

The "other guy" to whom Kane was referring is Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor. O'Malley, who was also working the crowd in Crisfield, spent many years fronting an Irish rock band called O'Malley's March. Far more often than not, he handled lead vocals.

The annual event, to which politicians flock in droves, was expected to draw more than 5,000 people yesterday. "If you can't come down here and get at least 30 votes, you're pathetic," Kane said.

Among those marching with O'Malley yesterday were his three eldest children, including two teenage daughters and his 8-year-old son, William, who is featured in one of O'Malley's new television ads airing in the Baltimore market.

By John Wagner  |  July 20, 2006; 6:37 AM ET
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