By MARIA-PIA NEGRO and MATT FLEMING
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Maryland delegation spent breakfast Wednesday reveling in the success of their governor’s convention speech Tuesday night and rallying behind a speech by the vice president’s son.
Repeating Gov. Martin O’Malley’s “Forward. Not Back” chant, the delegates recounted the highlights of the first night at the convention.
“We have heard that ‘if the Democrats have two more nights like this, this is over,’” said Yvette Lewis, Maryland Democratic Party chairwoman.
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who sponsored the breakfast, made the crowd laugh while introducing Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III at Wednesday’s breakfast: “He is from Delaware. You know that place where you spend your money when you forget to go to the beaches in Maryland. It’s also the size of Rockville.”
Biden, an Army National Guard major who was deployed to Iraq in 2008, criticized the Romney/Ryan ticket for its rhetoric on veterans.
“There can’t be a debate that it is the role of the government to take care of veterans. There is no question about that,” said Biden, Delaware attorney general.
President Barack Obama was not the only one receiving laurels: California’s Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and state Sen. Jamin B. “Jamie” Raskin, D-Montgomery, touted Gansler’s 20-year career as a public servant.
Gansler was praised for his fight against domestic violence, crackdown on domestic violence, his environmental efforts and his championing of marriage equality.
The morning finished with a call to action to win the elections.
“Let’s go out and hustle for the next two months,” Raskin said, “and deliver them [Romney/Ryan) the most spinning defeat they have ever seen.”
Following a relatively silent first day of the Democratic National Convention Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Kensington, spent all day Wednesday in plain sight with journalists in advance of his appearance on the convention stage.
There was a morning appearance on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” with host Chuck Todd, where Van Hollen went over a few standard Democratic talking points, like tax reform and reiterating how digging out of the recession will take longer than four years.
“It will take a long time to rebuild,” said Van Hollen. “But ask yourself: What would Romney have done?”
Van Hollen was later seen with reporters in the belly of the media beast in the Charlotte convention center, and then holding court inside Bloomberg’s hub.
Van Hollen made headlines last week when he followed Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to Tampa, where he spoke at the Democratic Party’s offices to help counter the GOP message.