Martin O’Malley Has a Ron Burgundy Moment, Reads ‘Conclusion’ Off Teleprompter

Actor Will Ferrell aka Ron Burgundy participates in Q&A after a special screening of the film 'Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy' at the Museum of Television and Radio July 7, 2004 in New York City.
National Journal
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Sarah Mimms
Jan. 23, 2014, 9:47 a.m.

Mary­land Gov. Mar­tin O’Mal­ley had a Ron Bur­gundy mo­ment dur­ing his State of the State speech Thursday af­ter­noon, ac­ci­dent­ally read­ing the sub­head “con­clu­sion” off of the tele­prompt­er to­ward the end of his speech.

The video, in which O’Mal­ley cracks a smile when he real­izes his mis­take but con­tin­ues speak­ing, is fly­ing around the In­ter­net along with plenty of jokes com­par­ing him to Ron Bur­gundy, Will Fer­rell’s char­ac­ter in the An­chor­man movies.

Bur­gundy is fam­ously fired from the Chan­nel 4 News Team after he reads a phrase in­struct­ing San Die­gans to “¦ do something im­pol­ite to them­selves without even no­ti­cing.

But for O’Mal­ley, who has spent years pin­ing for the pres­id­ency and is ex­pec­ted to make a bid in 2016, an­oth­er com­par­is­on may be more apt.

Dur­ing his 1992 pres­id­en­tial cam­paign, George H.W. Bush gave a speech in New Hamp­shire to re­mind the coun­try that he em­path­ized with their eco­nom­ic woes. In­stead, he fam­ously ended his speech by read­ing a note from his staff: “Mes­sage: I care.”

UP­DATE, 5:52 p.m — An aide to O’Mal­ley points out that the gov­ernor oc­ca­sion­ally uses this device to sig­nal to his audi­ence that he is near­ing the end of a speech.

“The gov­ernor is a huge An­chor­man fan, but this was not a Ron Bur­gundy mo­ment. It’s just some­times how he sig­nals he’s end­ing a speech,” the aide said.

O’Mal­ley’s staff ac­tu­ally ques­tioned him about the un­usu­al con­ven­tion dur­ing speech prep on Wed­nes­day. The gov­ernor told them that he had picked it up from Fath­er An­drew Cos­tello, a rev­er­end at St. Mary’s Par­ish in An­na­pol­is, Mary­land, the aide said.

You can hear O’Mal­ley say the same words dur­ing this speech at the Cen­ter for Amer­ic­an Pro­gress last year. “Con­clu­sion, con­clu­sion,” he says around the 14:00-minute mark.