In Which Martin O’Malley Kind Of Misses The Point

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who made a bid for the Democratic nomination for President that barely registered with his party, is musing about what happened to his campaign:

Martin O’Malley remembers running for president like this: He is on a train, heading for a bridge. He can see the bridge is giving out. He is shouting and waving and pointing at a “better lane,” he says. “But it’s like I couldn’t get anybody on the train to listen.”

“It was the most frustrating experience I’ve ever had in politics.”

O’Malley was still a young mayor in Baltimore, elected at 36, when he started hearing people say he might one day “go all the way.” Now, at 54, on the other side of that dream, he is at turns resigned to and not yet at peace with the eight months he spent as a candidate for the Democratic nomination. That his 2016 campaign never caught fire, or even much of a spark, is a reality he reasons with in one moment, ticking off outside contributing factors, before adding in the next that, in fact, “None of it made sense.”

Well Governor, perhaps that’s because you believe it’s easy to get a train to “change lanes.”

No wonder this guy’s campaign went nowhere.


FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CSK says:

    The only way you could get a train to “change lanes” is by having it jump the tracks.

    Clearly he did not think through this metaphor.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    I understand his frustration, but ….
    I think what he meant to say was, he had to get off the train before Hillary Clinton ordered Bernie Sanders to bomb the bridge.

  3. DrDaveT says:

    “He once parallel parked a train.

    He is… The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

  4. John Lumea says:
  5. Tyrell says:

    What set of tracks did he want the party leaders to move to: center or right ? It is already about as far left as it can go.

  6. DrDaveT says:


    It is already about as far left as it can go.

    If it weren’t a waste of time to correct Tyrell, I’d point out that the US Democratic party is to the right of nearly every other party on earth that isn’t explicitly the party of racist jingoism in its home nation. US Democrats are to the right of UK Conservatives.

  7. HelloWorld! says:

    I was surprise O’Malley didn’t do better. He really has a great record.