Balancing the political and the ceremonial

November 02, 2006|By JEAN MARBELLA

The media clustered around Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich after the debate, ready to grab sound bites and footage for that day's campaign coverage. But before he would take their questions, Ehrlich had one of his own: "Where is the first lady?" he asked. "Where is the first lady of the state of Maryland?"

Kendel Ehrlich materialized from the crowd of AARP members who had hosted this debate between gubernatorial candidates in September, to stand next to her husband. Ehrlich took the reporters' questions and volleyed back with answers, while his wife looked on pensively, occasionally nodding in a "Good one, honey" way, silent but very much in the picture.

tomorrow Katie O'Malley's roles as mayor's wife, judge sometimes collide.

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