O’Malley to tout Baltimore’s role in War of 1812 during return visit to New Hampshire

washingtonpost.com

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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By John Wagner June 13
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is headed up to New Hampshire Friday afternoon for an appearance at a Democratic dinner where he plans to talk about one of his favorite subjects: Baltimore’s pivotal role in the War of 1812.O’Malley (D) is booked as the featured speaker at an annual Flag Day Dinner, hosted by the Manchester Democrats.The event, aides say, provides an opportunity for O’Malley, a former Baltimore mayor, to recount the story of Francis Scott Key writing “The Star-Spangled Banner” after the British had been repelled and he saw the U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry. The story, as O’Malley typically tells it, is packed with pride for the people of the city he once led.For O’Malley, who is preparing for a possible White House bid, Friday’s speech will be the first of two scheduled appearances in early presidential nominating states within a week. Next Friday and Saturday, he plans to be in Iowa for state party events.O’Malley has said he is moving ahead with preparations for a possible 2016 presidential bid and can’t wait for Hillary Rodham Clinton to announce whether she is running — a decision not expected before the end of the year. Aides stress O’Malley has made no decision about moving forward, however.

As he mulls his political future, O’Malley has become a regular on the Democratic speaking circuit, most often traveling to states where fellow party members are on the ballot in statewide races. He will not be delivering his standard speech Friday, aides said, in part because New Hampshire Democrats have already heard it: O’Malley was last in the Granite State in November for a Jefferson-Jackson dinner.

Aides said Friday’s return visit resulted from an invitation from Raymond Buckley, chairman of the state party in New Hampshire. Buckley was recently in Maryland, attending the Maryland Democratic Party’s annual gala, held last month in Upper Marlboro, at which New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) was the guest speaker.

Friday’s dinner commemorates Flag Day, which is actually Saturday. The topic of O’Malley’s speech is a familiar one for him, particularly with Maryland in the midst of a prolonged bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812. (The Battle of Baltimore and Key’s writing of what became the national anthem did not occur until 1814.)

Next weekend, O’Malley is scheduled to attend the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame celebration on June 20 and then be a speaker at the party’s state convention the next day.

Aides say O’Malley’s travel to Iowa will be his first time in the state since 2012, when he was the keynote speaker at U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry fundraiser.

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