IN OTHER WORDS: O’Malley, Franchot bond over the Orioles

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Mr. O'Malley and Mr. McDonnell have emerged during their terms as national figures, leading their respective Democratic and Republican governors associations, and the two often engage in some playful debate and needling of one another.

But the McDonnell camp was all business when asked by WTOP for a response. McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin fired off a blistering email assailing Maryland for its recent tax increases and fostering what many Republicans consider an unfriendly climate for business.

He also noted that Mr. McDonnell probably won’t have time for a debate — or pushups — anytime soon.

“Governors have their own, more gubernatorial version of a pushup contest,” Mr. Martin said. “It’s called the state unemployment rates. And Virginia wins.”

Already a lame duck?

It’s hard to snap back from being a lame-duck mayor to a normal midterm leader in about 60 minutes flat. But Mayor Vincent C. Gray pulled it off on Friday.

To explain, reporters perked their ears — if not suspicions — after a WUSA-TV reporter said on Twitter that an unnamed source, a former adviser to Mr. Gray, knew that the mayor would not seek a second term and would support a new candidate.

Whaaa? City hall reporters dropped what they were doing, camped outside the John A. Wilson Building or greeted Mr. Gray at a public event at Trinity College to ask him about the tweeted report, although the mayor’s spokesman already said Mr. Gray “has made no such decision” about whether he will run again.

Mr. Gray has faced intense scrutiny over a federal probe into activities during his 2010 campaign. Three of his campaign aides have pleaded guilty to either paying a minor mayoral candidate to verbally attack then-incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty or to managing straw donations and $650,000 in undocumented campaign funds, prompting three D.C. Council members to call for his resignation.

Yet Mr. Gray says he is focused on running the city. Even if that weren’t the case, it’s not a good idea to tell someone you plan on having zero political clout in a term that runs through 2014.

According to numerous accounts, Mr. Gray was none too pleased to see a bevy of reporters at his Trinity appearance. He called the initial report “irresponsible” and bemoaned the tenor of today’s news cycles.

The reporter who set off the frenzy, Bruce Johnson, got the last word in with this cryptic — or maybe prophetic — tweet: “Stay tuned.”

David Hill and Tom Howell Jr. contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author

Megan Poinski

Megan Poinski is the former deputy metro editor at The Washington Times. She has worked as a reporter, editor and web designer for more than a decade, covering mostly local, state and federal government in Ohio, Maryland and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Throughout her career, she has received reporting awards from the Scripps Howard Foundation, Capitolbeat, and Associated Press Managing ...

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