"I don't know if you can stand the shock but I have good news to report today.

"The music heard in these halls in recent weeks has had all the uplift of a dirge directed by a funeral director, played by an orchestra of morticians and sung by a chorus of embalmers.

"Today I offer a different tune, and if you're old enough to swing to Glenn Miller or young enough to tap your feet to the rhythms of Bruce Springsteen, this is your chance to get up off your chair.

"Let me tell you something. The state of the State of Maryland, what we've done together and what we're going to do together in this session, is what Irving Berlin had in mind when he wrote 'God Bless America,' and what Jackie Gleason means when he says 'How sweet it is.'

"So for the next few minutes close your eyes to some of the more recent signs of the times . . . signs that read, 'We're Going to Get You Harry.' And look upon me not as 'Harried Harry' but as 'The Sunshine Kid.' "

Look right here in state government where by my appointment and your confirmation we have more women serving in top cabinet and agency posts, more blacks serving as judges in our courts, and more qualified people of every race, sex and religion working for Maryland than any time in our history.

"Who says integrity can't run the ship of state?"

"I'm not saying everything you see around you is perfect. But if you can see one area of Maryland life. . . whether it be classrooms for our children, opportunity for our workers, health care for our citizens and just plain human caring for our disadvantaged . . . if you can see one area of Maryland life that hasn't improved over the past seven years . . . then you have better eyes than I do.

"I say the few things we might see differently in hindsight do nothing to discredit the foresight we shared in making a good state even better."

"Every governor has his own style, and mine has always been to respect the legislature, to seek the counsel of your leaders, and then to hold my own counsel . . . .

"Some say I should have twisted more arms to get my way. Well, I'm not a wrestler -- I was a pitcher.

"Some say I shunned the spotlight too much, wasn't visible enough on the 11 o'clock news to bring public focus to issues. Well, I was in the Navy as a young man, but not once did I ever have the desire to be an anchorman.

"I've always believed, and still believe, that a governor's job is not to play to the crowd but to do the hard work away from the glare, to do it honestly and objectively, with sensitivity and caring, and then, and only then, stand before the cameras and take the heat."