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Stop comparing Hogan to Trump

Governor Larry Hogan delivered his State of the State address on Wednesday at the State House in Annapolis, highlighting some of Maryland's achievements from the past year as well as items to focus on.

Why is The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board insisting on connecting Gov. Larry Hogan with President Donald Trump in “Hogan’s State of the State speech was boring. That’s its genius.” (Jan. 31)? Your editorial states that Governor Hogan’s State of the State was similar to his last two State of the State speeches. The first of these two speeches was before Mr. Trump even won the Republican nomination, so it is hugely disingenuous for The Sun to claim that Mr. Hogan intended to be a non-Trump in this most recent speech. If The Sun was truthful that the governor’s speech is similar to his past two, then he’s been “‘a sober, mature, reasonable leader” all this time. That’s The Sun’s wording, not mine.

And it’s amusing for The Sun to observe that Hillary Clinton “crushed” Mr. Trump in the last presidential election in this state. Was this unusual in Maryland? Ms. Clinton got 60 percent compared to Mr. Trump 34 percent of the 2016 Maryland vote. In 2012, Barack Obama got 62 percent and Mitt Romney 36 percent. Mr. Hogan won the governorship after President Obama “crushed” Mr. Romney by the same margin as Ms. Clinton did Mr. Trump. So, Governor Hogan has the same challenge after the 2016 election as he had after the 2012 election and his speech after the 2016 election was the same as before. It seems to me that Governor Hogan can simply be himself no matter the president in office. Wouldn’t that be preferred for the governor of Maryland, no matter his political party?

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Why does this editorial board need to focus on the future election? The authors devise all kinds of reasons about why Governor Hogan must be on the defensive. If they looked at the facts and their own words, that is clearly not the case. It’s hugely disappointing that The Sun does not deem Maryland and its governor’s State of the State speech important enough to simply comment on that speech for its own merits. It’s doubly disappointing for The Sun to demonstrate its obvious need to get back to the pre-Hogan status quo — a Democratic governor.

Patrick Walsh, Linthicum

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