Three days after tangling in a television studio in Baltimore, Maryland's leading candidates for governor are scheduled to square off today in a live debate at The Washington Post. We're hoping this encounter will be a tad more forward-looking than Round 1 between Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) -- which closely resembled the "grudge match" that Ehrlich insists to reporters this race is not.
"We need to look at the present. We need to look at the future," the former governor said Wednesday as he campaigned in Baltimore, talking about the tax environment facing Maryland businesses.
In a state served by two major media markets, one can expect The Post debate to tilt more toward topics affecting the Washington suburbs -- though the issues that have dominated he campaign to date, such as job creation and education, are largely of statewide importance and will get an airing, too.
The Post is hosting the debate with two media partners, WAMU (88.5 FM) and WUSA (Channel 9). The hourlong affair will be streamed live at noon at washingtonpostlive.com and broadcast live on WUSA. WAMU is airing the debate at 8 p.m. Maryland Public Television will also broadcast the debate live at noon and rebroadcast it at 7 p.m.
Washington Post Live editor Mary Jordan will moderate the discussion and ask questions along with WAMU 88.5 reporter Matt Bush and 9NEWS Now weekday anchor Derek McGinty. O'Malley told reporters Wednesday that he expects to cover more topics than on Monday, noting that issues such as the environment, energy policy, mass transit and smart growth didn't get much attention. "I hope we talk about education, higher education and the things that are going to enable us to make the transition to a new economy," O'Malley said.
One thing to watch: Recent polls have shown Ehrlich trailing, and many pundits thought he would try to shake up the race Monday at WJZ. Most pundits thought he didn't. Arguably the most memorable part of Ehrlich's performance was his repeated use of the term "gov" to refer to O'Malley. It will be interesting to see if Ehrlich takes a more aggressive posture today.
We have a few bells and whistles. Since Monday, we've been taking suggestions for questions, which you can continue to offer at the Washington Post Live site. SOURCE: Washington Post