Being governor, it turns out, is a pretty good way to build your library — and to collect clothing, cookies, calendars, key chains and other trinkets.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) reported receiving 86 books last year on a recently filed financial disclosure form that included an 11-page list of gifts.
Nearly half of the books were sent by the authors themselves, including Bill Clinton. The former president forwarded a copy of his latest, “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy” — along with a pen set and holiday ornament. The package arrived around Christmastime.
Along with various ties and T-shirts, clothing received by O’Malley also included a full Maryland Terrapins football uniform, with a helmet, of course. That arrived courtesy of Kevin Plank, chief executive of Under Armour, the Maryland-based company that outfits the team, and was valued at $200. O’Malley has not been spotted wearing it around the State House.
Perhaps more useful down the road: A pullover fleece emblazoned with the logo of “Veep,” the new HBO comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus that documents the exploits of a fictional understudy to the president. The gift came from the show’s producers, who shoot much of the series in the Baltimore area.
Leaders from around the globe were also particularly generous to O’Malley in 2011. He got a “Turkish urn” from the mayor of the Kocaeli metropolitan municipality. The Japanese ambassador kicked in an “official coin.” The governor of Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea, gave O’Malley a necktie and scarf, while a business leader from the country gifted two “hoodie jackets” and two “short sleeve T-shirts with pocket protectors.”
Books were by far the most common offering.
Some are hard to imagine O’Malley seeking out himself. For example, O’Malley, who championed this year’s same-sex marriage bill, received a copy of “God Blocked It!” from the book’s author. The author, Kristen Lambert, details several “dangerous behaviors” in which she engaged, including falling in love with a woman, before finding God, according to a summary on Amazon.
Perhaps more fun: “Crab Decks & Tiki Bars of the Chesapeake Bay,” a gift to the governor from its authors, Susan and Bill Wade.
This blog post has been updated since it was first published.