O'Malley, Olmert Share "A Certain Kinship"
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) told reporters today that he and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "share a certain kinship" from their respective tenures as mayor.
O'Malley, who served for seven years as mayor of Baltimore, hosted a luncheon yesterday for Olmert, who served a decade as mayor of Jerusalem, during a break in Middle East peace talks taking place at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
"Once a mayor, always a mayor," O'Malley told reporters gathered outside the heavily secured Government House in Annapolis, the site of the luncheon. "People who have held that job share a certain kinship."
O'Malley said that Olmert visited him in 2001 while mayor of Baltimore to examine CitiStat, a government accountability program that O'Malley advanced. O'Malley later visited Olmert in Israel in 2005 to talk about homeland security and other issues. O'Malley said the two have maintained "a long-distance awareness of each other's political journey."
"I'm sure that in the pressure cooker of these talks ... it was a nice little break," O'Malley said after today's lunch of chicken salad sandwiches.
There was some talk of Maryland's recently completed special legislative session, O'Malley said, relaying what was going through his head: "I can't believe I'm talking about slots to the prime minister of Israel."
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