'New day' for Md.

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During his speech, Brown, a Harvard law graduate who served in Iraq with the Judge Advocate General Corps, also spoke of partnership and new beginnings, compromise, conviction and service. He said his love of country was fostered by his father, who hails from Jamaica, and his mother, who was raised in Switzerland.

Brown urged Marylanders of all backgrounds and experience to give back.

"Walk good, my fellow Marylanders, and let good walk with you," he said.

Earlier, Pelosi, a San Francisco congresswoman, prompted unintended laughter when she flubbed a line of congratulations. "Martin O'Malley demonstrated as a great mayor of Baltimore that he will be a great governor of California," she said, before recovering: "Ahhhhhhh! That, too. I do feel as if I am at home."

The inaugural guest list was hardly bipartisan. Democrats packed the risers, including U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin, U.S. Reps. Elijah E. Cummings and John Sarbanes, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and former congressman and NAACP chief Kweisi Mfume, among many others. Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, the former governor and Baltimore mayor who was voted out of office last year, did not attend; nor did former Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

Former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a Democrat who lost her 2002 gubernatorial bid to Ehrlich, observed the day's events with "a great sense of hope and anticipation." Though she greeted Ehrlich and Steele with hugs and extensive chatting before the inaugural, she said she was thrilled for her party.

"It's just fabulous," she said. "We got our state back, and we're waiting to get our country back."

Most Republican legislators let the new Democratic leaders have their moment. House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell of Southern Maryland said he appreciated O'Malley's efforts to reach across the aisle.

"It's a new beginning and a new day, and it's a day that we should allow to occur with some fanfare in Maryland, but time will tell," he said. "I appreciate the references to cooperation and a respectful tone."

The Maryland Republican Party, however, wasted no time in criticizing the new governor - distributing a stinging statement from new party Chairman James Pelura before O'Malley had delivered his speech.

"Martin O'Malley has already broken his campaign promise on funding for education," Pelura said. "He has only filled six out of 24 department heads, as the legislative session is well under way. ... After his many expensive campaign promises, this Administration suddenly appears without any direction. These are troubling signs from O'Malley."

But others said that the new administration, coupled with energetic Democratic newcomers in the attorney general's and comptroller's offices, will aim together to change the partisan political tone that dominated Annapolis under Ehrlich. With Democrats holding veto-proof majorities in the House of Delegates and Senate, the party's dominance is indisputable.

"It's an exciting time," said Attorney Gen. Douglas F. Gansler, sipping a cup of coffee in the State House after the outdoor inaugural. "I think it was very family-friendly; there were children up there with both the governor and lieutenant governor. It was a time of optimism. You really can feel it. Especially here in Annapolis."

For his part, the sometimes brash O'Malley appeared humbled. After Robert M. Bell, chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, administered the oath inside the Senate chambers, O'Malley expressed gratitude for the trust placed in him and paraphrased abolitionist and Maryland native Frederick Douglass.

"We are one, that our cause is one and we must help each other if we are to succeed," he said.

jennifer.skalka@baltsun.com andrew.green@baltsun.com

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