The Baltimore Sun January 16, 1995, Monday,

Copyright 1995 The Baltimore Sun Company
The Baltimore Sun

January 16, 1995, Monday, FINAL EDITION


LENGTH: 1846 words

HEADLINE: From high energy to steely deliberation

BYLINE: John W. Frece, Sun Staff Writer


Maryland is about to move from "Do it now" to "Do it cautiously."

Parris Nelson Glendening, the 52-year-old former Prince George's County executive, will become Maryland's 59th governor Wednesday. In replacing William Donald Schaefer, 73, he will usher in a style of governance as different as a task force study is from a temper tantrum.

Gone in the generational exchange will be the hotblooded impatience and personal passion Mr. Schaefer has brought to state issues.

In its place will be the cool, steely deliberation of Mr. Glendening, a part-time college professor who revels in the technical minutia of government policy and who patiently weighs each step for how it fits into his politically calculated four- and eight-year calendars. "I liken myself in some ways to the Eisenhower presidency," Mr. Glendening said in a pre-inaugural interview last week. "By that, I mean that after the turmoil of the Roosevelt-Truman years, people wanted a more stable, somewhat low key, simply get the job done-type presidency.

"As you know, the Eisenhower era was quite successful . . . certainly in terms of public support," he said.

Just as the high-energy activism of Governor Schaefer and former Gov. Marvin Mandel bracketed the more low-key terms of Harry R. Hughes, so the tenures of Mr. Hughes and Mr. Glendening are likely to be viewed as slower, more deliberative bookends to Mr. Schaefer's often fiery eight years. The shift reflects a public that seems constantly to tire of what it has and to want something different.

"After the turmoil of change [in November's election], and the recession, and the conflicts, and the personality style of the last eight years, I believe most legislators and certainly most Marylanders are going to be pleased to see my style, which is much different," Mr. Glendening predicted.

"It does tend to be more policy-oriented, more deliberative, more long range. . . . I am a consensus builder. I don't go into these death struggles. I recognize clearly I don't have a monopoly on truth," he said.

Maryland's new governor shares several traits with President Clinton. Both are Democrats and new age technocrats. Both are married to lawyers whom they consider among their most important political advisers. (Frances Hughes Glendening, a legal adviser to the Federal Election Commission, heads her husband's transition committee.)

And both have teen-age children.

The new governor said he, like many professionals these days, is determined to strike a balance between work and family considerations. He said he intends to spend two to three nights a week at home with his family, as well as every other weekend and holidays.

A world changed

Mr. Glendening takes the reins of a government in a world changed, in which continued economic prosperity is no longer a certainty and in which society's most intractable problems seem to defy government remedies.

Unlike Mr. Schaefer, who stormed into Annapolis in 1987 with an ambitious agenda, a fat treasury and a huge mandate from the voters, Mr. Glendening arrives with a modest list of first-year goals, a tight budget that he knows he will have to trim and a skin-of-the-teeth electoral victory that was the closest in Maryland since 1919.

Even as he laid plans for his inauguration, hired staff and selected Cabinet secretaries, the Democratic governor-elect was distracted by the expense and uncertainty created by a legal challenge to the election by his defeated Republican opponent, Ellen R. Sauerbrey.

An Anne Arundel County judge dismissed Mrs. Sauerbrey's challenge Friday, and she announced yesterday that she was abandoning plans for appeals. As a result, Mr. Glendening can for the first time focus exclusively on the task of leading the state to the brink of, and perhaps into, the 21st century.

When he takes the oath of office at noon Wednesday in the Senate chamber, Mr. Glendening will become the first Maryland governor from the Washington suburbs in nearly 125 years. The change reflects the migration of political power in Maryland from Baltimore, the state's biggest city, to the fast-growing suburbs.

Three major promises

Mr. Glendening campaigned for governor on three major promises: to improve the business climate and job development, to make communities safer from crime, and to improve the quality of public education.

His first year in office, he said last week, will be devoted to laying the foundation to achieve those goals. But he said no one should judge prematurely whether he has been successful. "Our intention is to take enough time to do things really right," he said. "To me, that means you don't get stampeded by editorial writers or columnists who say, 'What have you done in your first 100 days, or in your first session?' "

Mr. Clinton did that to his own detriment, Mr. Glendening said, adding, "I'm absolutely not going to make that mistake."

"I'm not interested in a series of quick-fix, instant solutions that will grab nice wrap-up [headlines] at the end of the first session," said Mr. Glendening, a man who becomes more animated when talking about the nuances of budgets or policy considerations.

'I know this stuff'

"By the way, I know this stuff. I know the budget stuff," he volunteered. "I like this. This is good stuff to me."

He said his primary goals for his first year are to establish a relationship of mutual trust with General Assembly leaders and to make budget decisions that will reduce the likelihood of future deficits and allow a tax cut before his four-year term ends in 1999.

Perhaps his most controversial initiative will be an attempt to relax restrictions on the use of state Medicaid funds to pay for abortions for poor women. The abortion issue has sharply divided the legislature in the past and is sure to do so again.

But in an acknowledgment of the electorate's conservative shift in November, Mr. Glendening has put off until next year his plans to push for stiff new gun control laws, including licensing of handgun owners.

"That bill would die in a moment if sent over there now," he said. "But we will almost certainly have that [introduced] next session. Let me drop the 'almost.' We will have that in next session."

First-year agenda

Otherwise, his first-year agenda is likely to be an amalgamation of departmental reorganizations and admittedly symbolic measures, such as changing the name "Governor's Mansion" back to its traditional, pre-Schaefer name, "Government House."

Budget realities and an electorate that seems to view government spending as out of control have tempered many of Mr. Glendening's primary election promises.

In those days, he talked boldly of the need -- even the duty -- to invest in schools, crime prevention and stimulants for the economy. He promised to spend more for police, for teacher and public employee retirement, and for other programs.

These days, he talks more often of his determination not to raise taxes over the next four years and of his desire to cut taxes.

He contends that he has not changed. Rather, he said that candidates, when seen through the lens of a political campaign, where defining positions must be staked out, tend to seem more extreme than they really are. "To some extent, this is the press discovering the real candidate as much as anything," he said.

Listen to the voters

One of the duties of a leader, he acknowledges, is to listen to the voters. What he heard them say in November is that taxes are too high and people are not getting their money's worth from government.

"There's a great sense of frustration," he said. "They say it in a variety of ways, but basically it comes down to: 'I'm paying more taxes for education, and the quality isn't going up. And more taxes for police, and I can't walk in my own neighborhood. And lastly, I feel a lack of economic security -- my own job is at threat.' And people are very, very frustrated."

A methodical planner who already is talking about his second term, "the voters willing," Mr. Glendening clearly does not want to make a false step now that he might regret during his 1998 re-election campaign. (He casually notes that his son, Raymond, will be in his 20s when his second term is over.)

He said, for instance, he does not want to do anything "abrupt," such as reduce taxes this year, that might cause him to have to raise taxes a couple of years from now.

A deal with his son

Although Mr. Glendening worked for at least the past four years to win the governor's mansion, he does not plan on moving in, at least not immediately. His 15-year-old son, Raymond, is a sophomore at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, where he plays baseball and has a circle of friends he does not want to leave.

When he decided to run for governor, Mr. Glendening said, he made a deal with his son that he could finish at DeMatha. So during the school year, the Glendenings intend to live at their home in University Park.

Whenever his schedule permits -- and assuming the Major League Baseball strike ends some day -- the governor-elect said he hopes his son can take a train up to Baltimore and meet his father at Camden Yards.

"He and I are fanatical baseball fans. We love it," he said. "We love sitting right down in the crowd.

"Our idea of luxury is to have a beautiful day and go see a really tight game."


To receive, by fax, a copy of the Maryland General Assembly legislative hearing schedule for the week, dial 332-6123. Enter the information number 5959.

If you would like to receive the schedule automatically each week, call the electronic news desk at 332-6893.



* INAUGURAL EVE GALA RECEPTION, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 7 p.m. About 2,000 people will attend the gala, for which tickets were $ 75 a person. It is sold out.


* PRE-INAUGURAL ENTERTAINMENT, featuring bands and other performers, 9 a.m. to noon, Lawyers Mall in front of the State House in Annapolis. Free and open to the public.

* OATH OF OFFICE, noon, Senate Chamber, State House. Entrance to the chamber is by invitation only. The event will be broadcast on television monitors in the State House and on speakers outside.

* INAUGURAL ADDRESS, 12:30 p.m., West Steps of the State House. Open to the public.

* PARADE OF COUNTIES, 1:30 to 3 p.m. The parade steps off from Naval Academy Gate 1, proceeds along East Street and turns right on State Circle past a reviewing platform. It then turns right on North Street, left at College Avenue and right on Bladen Street to the Naval Academy Stadium parking lot.

* STATE HOUSE RECEPTION, 3 p.m., old Senate Chamber, free and open to the public.

* INAUGURAL BALL, 7 p.m., Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. About 3,000 people will attend the ball, for which tickets were $ 125 per person. It is sold out.


* GOVERNOR'S MANSION OPEN HOUSE, featuring the new governor and first lady, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Open to the public.

For more information on inaugural events, call 974-5435.

GRAPHIC: COLOR PHOTO, BARBARA HADDOCK TAYLOR/SUN STAFF PHOTO, Gov.-elect Parris Glendening likens himself "in some ways to the Eisenhower presidency. By that, I mean that after the turmoil of the Roosevelt- Truman years, people wanted a more stable, somewhat low key, simply get the job done-type presidency."; MAP, STAFF GRAPHIC, INAUGURAL PARADE ROUTE