As he leaves office, Hogan remembers inauguration, losing teleprompter


“I had never spoken with a teleprompter before,” he told WTOP. “We did one practice run,” said Hogan, who recalled asking the team operating the teleprompters, “What happens if something goes wrong? And they’re like, it never happens.”

In a little less than a month, Maryland will mark a transition of power.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan will be leaving office as Democrat Governor-elect Wes Moore and Lt. Governor-elect Aruna Miller prepare to take on the state’s top elected offices.

The web page for the Moore-Miller inauguration states that the swearing in ceremony is free, and the public is invited. And there is this bit of information: “The ceremony is outdoors, and attendees should dress appropriately for the weather.”

In an interview with WTOP, Hogan talked about his swearing in for his first term in 2015, and how as the snow fell, he began his speech.

“I had never spoken with a teleprompter before” he told WTOP. “We did one practice run” said Hogan, who recalled asking the team operating the teleprompters, “What happens if something goes wrong? And they’re like, it never happens.”

But it did.

Hogan remembers the teleprompters flickering and going off halfway through his speech, but the glitch mercifully occurred closer to the end of his address.

When teleprompters are used for political speeches, there are typically two. One off to the right, one to the left, so the speaker can switch back and forth, creating the feeling that they are naturally addressing both sides of an audience.

Hogan, known for his blunt style, didn’t try to hide the moment when the teleprompters failed, he let the audience know. He hit the line, “A commitment to doing things differently will be challenging” he declared.

Then, seeing the print disappear,  Hogan told the audience with a smile, “But I lost the teleprompter” and he quickly added, “It will be challenging …. but it will be worth it!” he said as the crowd laughed with him over the temporary glitch.

Then, one of the teleprompters flickered back on, and Hogan leaned on that one screen for the rest of his speech. “So I kind of had to land the plane with one engine and still look back and forth, left and right” he said with a laugh as he recalled that moment.

Hogan’s turning over the official residence, known as Government House, to Governor-elect Wes Moore.

Hogan was asked what it was like to make his home just steps away from the historic State House — and whether the residence itself is in good shape. “We had to make a lot of changes,” said Hogan. For years, he said, upkeep budgets had been slender. “It looks terrific” now, said Hogan. “But I’m sure the next governor will find some things to improve.”

Asked if he’ll leave a note or some memento behind for Governor-elect Moore and his family to discover, Hogan told WTOP, “You’ll ruin the surprise if I told  you that!”

Hogan, referring to himself and first lady Yumi Hogan added, “We are only the temporary residents of that residence, and temporary holder of this job, and I’m doing everything I possibly can to make the transition as easy as possible” for Moore’s family.  “I want to help them get off to a good start” he said.


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