The Writing on the Wall

Somebody got to Governor O’Malley, because something sensical happened:

Gov. Martin O’Malley today urged General Assembly leaders not to pursue legislation that would force out Maryland schools chief Nancy S. Grasmick, and later in the day, held a public appearance with the superintendent in which he pledged to cooperate on education policy.

The unexpected announcement capped months of acrimony between the governor and Grasmick, who has served as state superintendent under four governors.

O’Malley had indicated that he wanted to oust Grasmick from her post in favor of a superintendent of his choosing. Grasmick had insisted that she would not go, and in December, the state school board — still controlled by appointees of O’Malley’s predecessor — offered her a new four-year term….

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….Today, O’Malley said that over the course of several conversations with Grasmick, he had decided to try to work cooperatively with her.

“Over the course of the last year, we have all heard the words ‘consensus’ and ‘coming together,’ and phrases like ‘putting the divisions of the past behind us,'” O’Malley said during an afternoon State House news conference. “In that spirit, Dr. Grasmick and I have had a very good talk and a very direct talk about the need to come together.”

Of course, maybe he realized how completely ridiculous he sounded when talking about ‘consensus’ and ‘coming together,’ and phrases like ‘putting the divisions of the past behind us,’ when he was talking about the lack of consensus, dividing the people of Maryland, and living in the past through blaming Governor Ehrlich for all of his shortcomings. But maybe O’Malley saw the writing on the wall that told him this was never going to fly with the public, given all of the positive press in recent weeks regarding Maryland schools.

Now I’m not exactly the biggest Nancy Grasmick fan, but once again she proves that she has the political wherewithal to get out of the tough spots. But I am still amazed that O’Malley backed down. Because usually the Governor is hellbent on getting his way past the point of common sense and the common good. For once, O’Malley couldn’t take the heat. I wonder what he’ll cave on next…


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