- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 16, 2019

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday was sworn in for his second term in office, calling for a repudiation of the kind of “debilitating” politics plaguing Washington, D.C., and holding up politicians like former President George H.W. Bush and Sen. John McCain as models to emulate.

Mr. Hogan, a moderate former businessman who has emphasized issues tied to taxes, jobs and the economy during his first four years in office, is the first Republican in six decades to serve a second term as governor of Maryland.

“Let’s repudiate the debilitating politics practiced elsewhere — including just down the road in Washington — where insults substitute for debate, recriminations for negotiation, and gridlock for compromise,” Mr. Hogan said in his second inaugural address, delivered just outside the State House.

He said people on both sides of the aisle just want to make demands and win arguments.

“That’s not governing — that’s just political theater, and most of us are sick and tired of all that drama,” Mr. Hogan said, drawing some applause.

He lauded the example of his father, Lawrence Hogan Sr., a former GOP congressman who supported impeaching former President Richard M. Nixon amid the Watergate scandal.

“Party loyalty and personal affection and precedents of the past must fall before the arbiter of men’s actions: the law itself. No man — not even the president of the United States — is above the law,” the governor said, quoting his father.

He said his father was “proud” to serve in Congress with Bush, who died in November, calling the 41st president “a true American hero who represented the very best of our nation.”

Former Florida Gov. and 2016 GOP primary presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the son of the president, introduced Mr. Hogan ahead of his address.

“What’s happening here in Annapolis is the antithesis of what’s happening in Washington, D.C., these days,” Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Hogan also noted that he was speaking against the backdrop of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he attended the recent funeral of McCain, the longtime U.S. senator from Arizona who died in August.

He called McCain “another American hero.”

“As we look back on the lives of these leaders, it makes us yearn for something better and more noble than the politics of today,” he said. “While the tenor of today’s national politics may have strayed from the noble example they set, I still believe that what unites us is greater than that which divides us.”

He said Maryland has shown people a better path forward, touting “bipartisan, common sense” solutions that have worked for the people of the state.

“We didn’t surrender our principles; we simply practiced the art of the possible, and we trusted Marylanders to appreciate the distinction,” Mr. Hogan said. “Do the right thing and the politics will work itself out — that was our plan.”

He touted progress on lowering taxes, cutting back regulations, funding education, protecting health care coverage, investing in infrastructure, and cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

“Today, I ask my partners in the legislature to join in reaffirming our pledge to continue on this bold new path,” he said. “Let’s keep putting people’s priorities before partisan interests.”

Mr. Hogan said people have enough to worry about in their private lives without having politics creep in.

“Maybe we received a tough diagnosis or recently lost someone we love,” said Mr. Hogan, who has battled skin cancer. “We all suffer challenges in our lives that give us plenty to worry about. You shouldn’t have to obsess over or argue constantly about angry and divisive politics.”

Mr. Hogan cannot run for a third consecutive term. He is currently vice chairman of the National Governors Association and is poised to become the group’s next chairman.

After winning in a stunning upset in 2014 over Democrat Anthony Brown, the governor cruised to re-election over Democrat Ben Jealous in 2018, winning by double digits.

At the same time, Democrats gained a net of eight seats in the state House and lost a net of just one seat in the state Senate last year, preserving the party’s filibuster-proof majorities that will serve as checks on the governor.

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