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.