Tricks, treats, and will you vote for Daddy?


November 01, 2006|By LAURA VOZZELLA

O Marty boy, the votes, the votes are callll-ing

The long and dreary race for Maryland governor has come to this: Mayor Martin O'Malley singing "Danny Boy" at a Parkville senior center.

Sound like a Howard Dean-scream campaign moment? Like a punchy-beyond-belief candidate opening his mouth and belting out something that no politician -- even one with a band -- should let loose?

But yesterday's musical burst was no accident. The Irish love song has been part of O'Malley's campaign schtick for more than a decade. He trotted out "Danny Boy" in 1990, when he challenged then-state Sen. John Pica Jr.

"After I would make my speech, Martin would pick up his guitar and sing either `Danny Boy' or the Notre Dame fight song," Pica said. "I thought it was a little over the edge, but it was pretty effective. Many of the older women were in tears. It was very tough to compete with."

Pica won that race -- by 44 votes -- and he knows the outcome could have been different. "Maybe," Pica said, "if he'd added one more lyric."

But the Ehrlich campaign professed not to be sweating the "Danny Boy" effect.

"How nice that the mayor has time for hobbies one week before the election," Ehrlich spokeswoman Shareese DeLeaver said. "Given the Indian summer we're experiencing, the governor would love to be on the golf course. However, there are more important things on his plate."

Divine intervention for city schools

Finally, somebody out there has come up with a solution for troubled city schools: Prayer.

A group called Pray Live, which bills itself as a "non-denominational live interactive prayer line, Internet radio station and e-worship center," will lay out its plan at a news conference today.

"The entire city will be asked to come together and pray five times a day at 6:00 AM, 12:00 Noon, 4:00 PM, 9:00 PM and 12:00 midnight by calling 443-921-0098 and entering the word pray or 7729," a news release says.

The hoped-for result: "Supernatural change for our Baltimore public schools."

Tricks, treats, and will you vote for Daddy?

Before Kristen Cox agreed to join Bob Ehrlich's ticket, she made one demand: She needed one night off from campaigning -- Halloween.

Cox was freed up to go trick-or-treating with her two sons. Riley, 16 months, was a duck. Tanner, 10, was "an undead pirate" from Pirates of the Caribbean. Cox told The Sun's Andy Green that she was too busy this year to come up with a costume for herself, so she was going as a candidate.

So what did other political progeny do for Halloween? Drew Ehrlich, 7, was Batman. Josh, 2, was Batman. Their governor-dad was Batman.

(Quantity discounts at the costume shop? Or maybe Ehrlich is trying to zing Martin O'Malley, who, with ex-council pal Lawrence Bell, used to go by "Batman and Robin" because they were always pushing tough crime-fighting plans.)

And the Democrats?

Anthony Brown's son, Jonathan, 6, was a pirate. Daughter Rebecca, 11, was a pop star.

As for the O'Malleys, Jack, 4 was Spiderman, William, 8, was a knight, and Grace, 15, was a ballerina. The costume of Tara, 14, was unknown as of this writing. "She's not telling me," Katie O'Malley said. "She's a teenager."

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