With his call for a special session on gambling next month, Gov. Martin O'Malley is placing a high-stakes political bet that he can prevail in a struggle over one of the most contentious issues facing Maryland.
A win could burnish his image at a time when he is widely thought to harbor presidential ambitions. But failure to deliver could deal a blow to his standing at home and in the national arena, political observers said.
Flanked on Friday by House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, O'Malley set Aug. 9 as the day for lawmakers to return to Annapolis for the second time since the General Assembly adjourned in April.
This time they will...