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Marylanders celebrate inaugural

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Published on: Thursday, January 24, 2013

By Donna Broadway

WASHINGTON D.C. - It’s the night of Maryland’s Inaugural Ball and everyone gathered around two flat screen TVs. Hands are clinched, eyes wide, faces inspired. They’re not listening to a speech by the governor or the president; they’re watching the AFC Championship game.

The Baltimore Ravens are in a rematch with the New England Patriots, and more than 100 people are gathered in the pre-reception area to cheer the Ravens to a victory.

There is no talk of President Obama, gun control or capital punishment; the only thing on everyone’s mind is whether the Ravens are going to the Super Bowl in two weeks.

At the sold-out ball, sponsored by the Maryland Democratic Party , hundreds of people cheered the Ravens to a trip to New Orleans, indulged in Maryland crab cakes and danced the night away to The Spinners.

It was a twofold celebration. The Ravens earned their first trip to the Super Bowl in twelve years, and President Barack Obama was starting his second term. One attendee even donned a Ray Lewis jersey over her ball gown.

Amy Greer had been watching the game since she arrived.

“There are two very big positive events going on, and it’s a lot of fun. There is a lot of hope,” she said.

The only speech was from Governor Martin O’Malley, who spoke briefly at the beginning of the ball and congratulated Marylanders on making two million calls on behalf of Obama.

Lieutenant Gov. Anthony Brown, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin also attended.

The governor spent the remainder of the evening at the Iowa State Society’s Inaugural Ball with Vice President Joe Biden.

Concerns going into Obama’s second term include immigration reform, gun control, gay rights, the economy, health care, climate change, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Daron Ford of Temple Hill, Md., said:  “I think the president has a great opportunity to continue progressive politics, and if we can get a Congress that agrees with us, we will have great things in store.”

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