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June 13. 2014 9:22PM

Maryland governor featured speaker at NH Democrats' annual Flag Day Dinner


Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks during the Manchester Democrats' Flag Day Dinner, held at the Puritan Backroom in Manchester on Friday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley came to New Hampshire Friday afternoon for an appearance at a Democratic dinner where he talked about one of his favorite subjects: Baltimore’s pivotal role in the War of 1812.

O’Malley, a Democrat, was 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, the speech was 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 said 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.

O’Malley was last in the Granite State in November for a Jefferson-Jackson dinner.

Aides said his 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 at which Gov. Maggie Hassan was the guest speaker.

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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