O’Malley delivers speech in Mississippi, headed to Arkansas, New Hampshire


Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Gov. Martin O’Malley touted his achievements in Maryland during a speech Friday night in Mississippi, the first leg in a busy weekend of out-of-state travel for the potential 2016 White House hopeful.

In an address to a Mississippi Democratic Party dinner in Jackson, O’Malley (D) said Maryland had continued to make investments during the economic recession to create jobs and build “a modern economy with a human purpose.”

“We have done more to improve our children’s education, more to rebuild our infrastructure and more to make college opportunity affordable to all,” O’Malley said, according to a copy of his prepared remarks distributed by an aide.

The governor also ticked off a series of other issues on which lawmakers had acted during his tenure, including legalization of same-sex marriage, new restrictions on guns and Maryland’s version of the Dream Act, which grants in-state college tuition rates to undocumented immigrants in certain cases.

O’Malley also briefly addressed the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., that has followed the shooting of the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

“It’s difficult to look at those images and not to be heartbroken about the big gulfs and big divisions that still exist in our country,” O’Malley said. “But it’s also true that the greatest power in our nation is the power of love. And healing. And understanding. And forgiveness. . . . I think we all say a silent prayer in our own way that we might all be instruments for peace on this earth, and hope for better days, not only for Ferguson, but for America.”

The speech was otherwise similar to other addresses O’Malley has given to Democratic gatherings around the country in recent months as he prepares for a potential 2016 presidential bid that has been largely overshadowed by speculation that Hillary Rodham Clinton will run.

As he has previously, O’Malley devoted a section of his remarks to his tenure as mayor of Baltimore and argued that the county is going through a “cynical time of disbelief” similar to what he found in his city when he took office in 1999.

On Saturday, O’Malley plans to be in Arkansas, aides said, attending a conference of the Southern Governors Association in Little Rock and joining a state Senate candidate at a political event.

On Sunday, O’Malley is scheduled to return to New Hampshire, the nation’s first presidential nominating state. He is booked as the special guest at a picnic being hosted by the Strafford County Democratic Committee.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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