Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are slated to square off for the first time in their respective roles as chairmen of the partisan governors organizations they lead.
Both O’Malley (D) and McDonnell (R) have been invited to appear Sunday morning on CNN’s ”State of the Union” with Candy Crowley, according to their aides.
It will be the latest in a blitz of national media attention for McDonnell since ascending to the chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association on Monday. That included an appearance Friday on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, during which McDonnell talked about college football, the state’s surplus and presidential politics.
O’Malley, who became chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in December, has also been getting a good deal of play lately from the national media, including a Sunday appearance this month on “This Week” on ABC, during which he sparred with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.
Both governors have been popping up on other MSNBC and Fox news shows as well.
O’Malley has sought to aggressively draw contrasts with Republicans during his DGA tenure — a practice that continued Friday with a fundraising letter that might provide good fodder for Sunday’s show.
“All across our country, Democratic governors are creating jobs, balancing budgets, and moving their states forward.,”O’Malley wrote in the e-mail solicitation. “Meanwhile, the Republicans are putting all their energy into suppressing the rights of voters, slashing funding for education and health care, and taking away workers’ rights.”
Sunday’s joint television appearance is likely to be the first of many encounters between O’Malley and McDonnell, both of whom are showing up on pundits’ lists of potential national candidates. Both men say they have established a good working relationship on regional issues.