"I believe in this decade of ours, the better future that we seek dawns first in Maryland," O'Malley said during his inauguration address. "There is not another state better positioned than we are to transform the global challenges that we face into jobs here and opportunities here in our own new economy."
O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown were sworn in inside the Maryland Senate chamber, then again, symbolically, as part of an inauguration ceremony outside the State House.
On Friday, O'Malley, a Democrat, is scheduled to unveil his budget for the next fiscal year. He has promised to make cuts to try to eliminate a budget deficit estimated at $1.6 billion rather than pushing for tax increases.
On Wednesday, though, the mood in Annapolis was celebratory for O'Malley and Brown.
U.S. senators and representatives, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray were in the crowd as O'Malley talked broadly about highlights of his first term — investments in public education, a freeze on higher education tuition and public safety enhancements.
Brown thanked many people, including his parents. He said to them: "You taught me the lessons of service (and) the importance of compassion and understanding."
O'Malley and Brown drew upon their frequent slogan of "One Maryland" as they talked upon fiscal cuts, job gains and increases in health-care coverage.
"Four years ago, we promised you a government that would work for all Marylanders," Brown said. "We vowed to restore fiscal responsibility and public accountability. We made a covenant to reach our shared goals — borne from the values that unite our diverse state."
O'Malley and Brown were officially sworn in at about noon Wednesday in the Senate chamber before both the Senate and the House of Delegates.
O'Malley and Brown didn't speak then, saving their remarks for the outside crowd, which filled much of Lawyers' Mall, a plaza next to the State House. The winter weather was cold, but not as bad as four years ago, when O'Malley was sworn in for a first term.
The inauguration also included speeches by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who introduced O'Malley, and Prince George's County Executive Wayne Curry, who introduced Brown.
After the ceremony, O'Malley greeted well-wishers at Government House, the nearby governor's mansion.
An inaugural party was scheduled in Baltimore in the evening.
Overall, plans to celebrate the start of O'Malley's second term were low-key compared to the start of his first term in 2007. His office has said less fanfare was more appropriate because of the tougher economy.