O'Malley delays speech to avoid conflict with State of the Union

Gov. Martin O'Malley has postponed his State of the State address Wednesday to avoid a conflict with President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech planned for later that day.

O'Malley becomes the second governor to shift his annual address because of Obama's schedule. Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio, a Democrat like O'Malley, made a similar decision earlier in the week.

O'Malley's address will now be Feb. 4, rather than Jan. 27.

Asked about the conflict earlier in the week, O'Malley's office said the date would not be changed.

"When we realized it was the same day as ours, we didn't really talk about moving ours, we just talked about the potential impact," O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec told the Associated Press.

According to the AP, Adamec said his office determined that since O'Malley's speech was at noon and the president's will be in prime time, viewers who wanted to would have the chance to watch and digest both.

Adamec explained the revised decision on Friday: "The governor ultimately decided that - beyond it being the proper and respectful thing to do - that especially in these economic times it's important for the people of Maryland to hear from their president."

The new date could pose a conflict, or at least mean a hectic pace, for some Maryland politicians. Feb. 4 is also the day that Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon will be sentenced in her criminal corruption case and leave office, and City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake will be installed as mayor.