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Lots of Laughs, and a Few Snubs, At Governor's State of the State Address

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By Philip Rucker
Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yesterday's State of the State address, with its attendant pomp and politics, was something like an awards show, family reunion and high school assembly all in one. Here are some of the day's scenes.

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Fenty, by Any Other Name

On such a day, Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) might have the toughest job in the House of Delegates. As presiding officer, he introduced each special guest -- all of the Cabinet secretaries, constitutional officers, county officials and former governors. He also introduced visiting dignitaries.

"The great mayor of the city of Washington, District of Columbia, Mr. Michael Fenty!" Busch said from a dais.

There was laughter all around.

"Mr. Adrian Fenty!" Busch said, correcting himself. "I'm sorry, Mayor."

"As long as you got the 'mayor' part right," Fenty (D) joked.

"I hope I don't get any parking tickets!" Busch said.

Some Former Governors

Speaking of dignitaries, there were several white-haired former governors in attendance: Marvin Mandel (D), Harry Hughes (D) and Parris N. Glendening (D). Absent, however, was William Donald Schaefer (D).

When asked why he didn't attend the speech by Gov. Martin O'Malley, Schaefer said he had not been invited.

"I didn't even know it was going to be today," the retired political legend said from his Anne Arundel County home. "I didn't get an invitation. . . . They may have forgotten to give me one."

But O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said that Schaefer was invited and that he responded no the day after the invitations were sent.

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