Everything was important. I meant that. I've said that. I've never picked one place and said this is my greatest accomplishment. Everything - the neighborhoods, the people, cleaning the city, fixing the potholes. They sound like they're a mundane thing, I guess that's the word. And then the business community. I had a great relationship with the business community until I left the mayor's office. And after that, I didn't follow it very much because I didn't have the same interest in the business community or they didn't have an interest in me. But the business community was great. The neighborhoods were strong when I left. ... When I left the mayor's office, the neighborhoods were proud of themselves. They cleaned them up. I guess that's the greatest accomplishment.
And then being able to help one person. I keep telling the story of the little black lady on Gay Street who looked up into [then city housing commissioner]Mr. [Robert C.] Embry's eyes as he was gonna dedicate public housing, and she said, `Mr. Embry, this is as close to heaven as I'll get till I get there.' God, that's been 30 years ago. I've never forgotten that. Little gray-haired black lady. All of us were crying our eyes out over that one. Because she was then safe. She was secure, she was safe and she was happy.
I do appreciate you all coming today.
Who will you endorse in the governor's race?
Who will you endorse?
Will you endorse Governor Ehrlich?
I have a heck of a time hearing.
Will you endorse Governor Ehrlich?
Now what was that again?
Are you gonna endorse Governor Ehrlich?
What was that again. I gotta get me ear ... Yuk, yuk, yuk. This morning you came in, despite a late night, at 9 a.m. and sang "God Bless America" with your staff. Why is that?
I don't really know. You know, when you like people and there's a sentiment in there and there's a good feeling in the office - they came in the room and all were there, and we had cake and tea and coffee. We have a guy that was in the Navy band who's a fine fellow, who just started off by singing "God Bless America." Do you feel like you're leaving things in good shape now? Do you feel like it's a job well done?
I feel when I was mayor, I was one of the best mayors in the country. When I was governor ... I was a pretty fair governor. We went through some difficult times. We had deficits, and we got through that. Wasn't spectacular. I always had somebody beating on me all the time. One group never let up on me. Never let up on me. And I understand why because you can see what's happened to that newspaper. It's falling apart. But, uh, nothing else to say.
What are your thoughts of Janet Owens?
She considered you a friend.
A few months ago.
Oh, oh. I guess the toughest thing in this political game is when your friends turn on you. That very, very rarely happened to me, and it's an awakening because politics in itself is not exactly a nice game. Everybody bites each other in the back. ... . So, anything else?
Governor, how would you like to be remembered?
Two words. There are two words, and I've thought of this a long time. I'm not gonna have a tombstone. I'm gonna be put in a mausoleum next to Hilda Mae. There are two words: "He cared." "He cared." That's all. That says a tremendous amount, and it really means something because if you care about somebody - I learned that a long time ago when I was in the City Council. If you can help one person and make life better for them, it follows all the way through the other offices I've had. "He cared." People have mocked me and made fun of it. But it's true. I really mean this. When you can see that little black lady on Gay Street, looking up in Mr. Embry's eyes saying, `I'm now safe. I'm happy.' Well, I never forgot that. I talk about all the time.
Who would you like to see become the next governor of Maryland?
Yes, I really do.
Do you like Bob Ehrlich?
Bob Ehr-litch? What did he say?
What about Martin O'Malley? Do you like Martin O'Malley?
I love everyone. I haven't an enemy in the world.
Who are you gonna vote for?
[To photographer:] Take the damn picture! Who am I gonna vote for? I think a real tragedy is how messed up the voting was in the state. There's no reason for that. You had plenty of time. You had plenty of money. And then to have a disgraceful election like that where people can't get into voting booths, people aren't there, I think that's bad. So I hope they rectify that. They should. They got enough money to do it. If you had to look back on all the things you've done, on all the things you've said, do you have any regrets? Would you take anything back?
No. What I said, I either said it because it was deliberate or it just ran out my face or whatever it is. No, I don't apologize. I might be sorry I said some things, but I'm not gonna apologize. If I do, I go to the person and say I'm sorry. ... I don't apologize to anybody unless I really have hurt them, and I've hurt people and I've told them I'm sorry. I did that.