Martin O’Malley Enters Race for Democratic Nomination As Backup Plan

Martin O’Malley Enters Race for Democratic Nomination As Backup Plan

Martin O’Malley Enters Race for Democratic Nomination As Backup Plan

The big question is, exactly who is this guy?

Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D), giving the State of the State address in 2010
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D), giving the State of the State address in 2010

The former Maryland governor unveiled his campaign in Baltimore, the city where he was once mayor — a role that is central to his political persona. But his Baltimore credentials could become more of a challenge than he initially thought after a riot erupted in the city in April.

Speaking in rolled-up sleeves at Federal Hill Park, O’Malley began with a call for economic fairness and closing the gap between rich and poor in America.

“This is the urgent work calling us forward today: to rebuild the truth of the American Dream for all Americans,” O’Malley said. “And to begin right now.”

He touched upon last month’s unrest in Baltimore, saying the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death was about more than race or policing in America, but about “the scourge of hopelessness” in the nation’s cities.

“There is something to be learned from that night, and there is something to be offered to our country from those flames,” he said.

O’Malley says he is not willing to just let Hillary be conducted to the Democratic convention as to a coronation.

An ally of former President Bill Clinton, O’Malley was the second governor to endorse Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2007. But he made clear that he thinks Democrats deserve a choice in the 2016 primary.

“The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth … between two royal families,” O’Malley said. “It is a sacred trust to be earned from the people of the United States, and exercised on behalf of the people of the United States.”

With O’Malley’s official entrance into the race, we have the first viable Democrat alternative to Hillary Clinton. (Bernie Sanders is the extreme left’s candidate, and has been made pretty unelectable after this week’s revelations, despite the spin.) He is positioning himself as the safe, boring backup choice, despite his immense baggage from his time as Baltimore’s mayor and as Maryland’s governor. Maryland did not think on O’Malley very fondly during the 2014 gubernatorial election, as his chosen successor Anthony Brown was defeated by Republican Larry Hogan in a surprise upset. But since it was not O’Malley himself who was defeated, he can skate by that somewhat. Whether he can offer explanations for Baltimore’s continuing unrest in a Democrat-controlled government is another question. And he is not exactly the most popular Democrat among Democrats, either.

Is O’Malley’s selling point of “I’m not Hillary Clinton” enough to earn him any consideration for the Democratic nomination? That depends on how many more scandals Hillary has buried in her closet, and whether the media is willing to cover them. And we all know how in the tank the media is for Hillary.

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1 Comment
  • Wfjag says:

    Well, he could campaign on his record that when he was Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor, he supported the police and murder and overall crime rates were going down because criminals were sent to jail.
    Oh, wait, he’s running for the Democrat Party nomination. Forget that idea.

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