Gov. Martin O'Malley is making what appears to be his closing argument to Maryland voters for the success of his administration in a reflective series of essays posted on a personal blog account.
Since Jan. 1, O'Malley has posted to his new "Letters to the People of Maryland" blog 18 times, making the case for his legacy in commentaries, photos and charts.
"These are one man’s perspective, informed by experience, caring, and the goodness of the people I have served. They are my unedited thoughts on the work done — and the work that remains to be done — for the better, more prosperous, and more secure future our children deserve," O'Malley wrote.
The blog posts, which come at a time when O'Malley is considering a run for president in 2016, could give prospective Democratic primary voters an unfiltered look at the governor's approach that avoids the interpretations of the traditional media.
On the blog, the two-term Democratic governor reflects on his philosophy of governing, provides statistical measures of Maryland's progress over the last eight years and shares stories of administration record in areas that have not received much media attention.
The blog appears to be aimed not just for today's politically attuned readers but for future generations of prospective leaders.
"It is my hope that one of the people reading these messages will come to govern our State in the future; and will come to govern us well. Perhaps that person is you, perhaps that person is your son or daughter," O'Malley wrote in his first posting on New Year's Day. "Hopefully, these reflections can serve that leader, and the common good we share, in some way in the future."
O'Malley's blog initiative uses the governor's personal Tumblr account and not the Governor's Office web site, said spokesman Ron Boehmer. Boehmer said O'Malley expects to keep posting fresh material to the site until he leaves office Jan. 21 but is not sure whether he will continue beyond then.
"Governor O'Malley's using these blog posts as a way to share his experiences and offer reflection of his time in office," Boehmer said.
The governor's letters come two months after Maryland voters rejected O'Malley's favored candidate to continue his legacy when they chose Republican Larry Hogan over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in a campaign that centered largely on O'Malley's taxing and spending decisions. It was a campaign in which Brown made a less than stout defense of O'Malley's choices, but the governor's blog letters present a more aggressive case.
The letters so far address a wide variety of topics from the economy to ensuring homeland security to choosing judges to fighting crime. The statistics-oriented O'Malley makes liberal use of charts to make the case that his administration has been successful by such measures as creating jobs at a faster pace than Maryland's neighbors, reducing foster care placements and making deep cuts in violent crime. One entire posting is devoted to his signature StateStat program for measuring results in a wide variety of government functions.
Though O'Malley makes his case for liberal governance in most areas, he leaves office as he came — preofessing his toughness on crime. In a section on commutations of life sentences for ailing, elderly murderers the governor tersely reports the bottom line for his administration.
"I have made every decision on the merits and equities of each case. In exercising this judgment, I have done so mindful of those whose lives were taken and whose families were left to grieve," he wrote. "I have not granted many commutation requests."