Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jack Markell and Matt Denn Take Office

We slipped into two of the last seats in Mitchell Hall a few minutes before midnight. I found myself in the very last row in the balcony with Brian Selander and Andrew Roos. Brian starts this morning as a member of Jack Markell's staff. His first task this morning: find a desk.
Andrew drove up from Virginia, where he is running Brian Moran's campaign for governor. Moran is the underdog candidate against the preternaturally annoying Terry McAuliffe.
Andrew and Brian sat in the back trading wisecracks, at least until the ceremony started.
Matt Denn was the first to take the oath of office. In his brief remarks, he promised to leave the "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" routine for Wednesday. Matt started by mentioning his family, including his twin boys, Adam and Zach, and went on to speak of his desire to make life easier for all children in Delaware.
Jack Markell spoke of his roots in the Newark area, saying he used to tag along with his father, who taught at the University of Delaware. He mentioned the hour, and the state's dire circumstances, saying that midnight is the darkest hour. I don't think he is underestimating the fiscal and economic problems we face.
Afterwards, we found ourselves chatting with Markell's staff. At one point, mindful of his new station, Brian offered a non-committal response when I raised a point about energy policy. Brian is a fast learner.
I spoke with my state representative, Gerald Brady, in the lobby, who told me he had met with a national labor executive who was familiar with him, and me, because of this blog. And for the first time in my experience, Gerald used the name of this blog as a verb: "I've been TommyWonked," he told me.

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