What a weird thing this O'Malley marriage rumor debacle has turned out to be. While it's fascinating like a car wreck, I'm not sure it's actually means anything besides the obvious political implications. (If it does mean anything, find out what in this Sun story by Abigail Tucker and Stephen Kiehl about How the Internet Has Changed Everything. A good story for its type, but it could have been written two, five, maybe even seven years ago, with just the names changed.) As for the politics, it gives O'Malley a way to get on cameras, pout, act the aggrieved party, to be the victim, which hopefully gains him viewers'/listners'/readers' sympathy, aka votes; in a way the mayor's public denunciation of the rumors yesterday was much like Gov. Ehrlich's now infamous respect State of the State speech a couple of weeks back. O'Malley's the better performer, though.
Anyway, on to the links. The Sun, for sure, gave this thing the full court press, with no fewer than seven news stories and columns. Thankfully, like it often does, Calvert Street has put together a mini-site of all related stories. No fancy cable-news-network catch-all title, though; it's just O'Malley rumor controversy. Besides the aforementioned pieces, check out Jonathan D. Rockoff's profile of the rumormonger himself, Maryland Republican operative Joseph Steffen Jr. Sounds like a real prince, this guy: "Former colleagues said he preferred to wear dark clothing and work behind closed doors, with the lights off. Away from work, he writes horror and science fiction stories." Also interesting is the usually on-the-ball Dan Rodricks, who I think gives the Mr. and Mrs. O'Mayor a tad too much sympathy. Yes, "two people who have given many of their 40-something years to public service, standing in front of TV cameras, photographers and reporters to deny what some creeps said about them on the Internet and elsewhere." But it was also a political opportunity for those two people. However, he gets it dead right when he goes after the, ahem, bloggers: "You can go on the Web site Joe Steffen fed with rumors about O'Malley, read the entries and feel your eyes glaze with boredom and with the weight of sad reality that so much human time and energy goes into divisive and hateful rhetoric and not enough into public service."
Elsewhere: Washington Post stories here and here. Associated Press, via The Washington Times, here. New York Times story here.
Also, can't help but wonder if the O'Malleys are a bit thankful this came along when it did, as the mayor made some more of his trademark dumb comparing-Bush-budget-cuts-to-9/11 remarks just a few days ago?-which he "clarified" yesterday on The Al Franken Show(?!)--allowing both Ehrlich and Republicans and his probable Democratic gubernatorial foe, Mont. Co. Exec. Doug Duncan, to pile on. They couldn't have asked for a better distraction.