Martin O’Malley To Enter Presidential Race

Maryland's former Governor will announce his candidacy for President next week. Don't expect him to go very far.

Martin O'Malley

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will be getting into the race for the Democratic nomination for President shortly after Memorial Day:

Martin O’Malley’s likely presidential launch will occur on the morning of May 30 in Baltimore’s Federal Hill Park, the Democrat said Tuesday.

The former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor, who is all but assured to announce a bid at the event beginning at 10 a.m., revealed his plans on Twitter and in a Snapchat video released at noon. The park, near the city’s Inner Harbor, overlooks downtown Baltimore. The short video, which didn’t have any audio, showed various scenes of downtown Baltimore, ending with a sign at Federal Hill Park.

The likely presidential hopeful also linked to a website advertising a “special announcement.” If he enters the race, O’Malley will become the third declared Democratic candidate in a field that includes Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

O’Malley supporters view the two-term governor as the most electable liberal alternative to Clinton, the establishment front-runner. The potential candidate held an off-the-record meeting in New York City last week with about 30 progressives, telling the group that he’s the most viable option for progressives who support liberal icon Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator who has said repeatedly that she won’t run in 2016.

(…)

O’Malley, 52, has been the most active Democratic hopeful in the early nominating states, spending a significant amount of time in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina since the 2014 election cycle. Still, he has yet to show much traction in the polls — recent national and Iowa and New Hampshire polls show O’Malley in the low single digits, behind Sanders, who announced last month, and far behind Clinton.

O’Malley’s team views him as a liberal insurgent in the mold of Gary Hart, who rose from the bottom of the polls and nearly defeated establishment front-runner and then-Vice President Walter Mondale in 1984. (O’Malley worked on that campaign as a 20-year-old staffer, and Hart has said that he bought O’Malley his first legal beer when he turned 21.)

Absent some sort of bizarre and presently unforeseeable turn of events, Martin O’Malley is not going to be the Democratic nominee for President. Primarily, of course, this is because the Democratic race is currently dominated in an historically unprecedented fashion by Hillary Clinton, who presently has a massive lead over any of her actual or potential opponents in the national and early state polls. Indeed, O’Malley isn’t even anywhere near the top of the polls among the Clinton challengers, Depending on which poll you look at, that title either belongs to Elizabeth Warren, who is not running for President, or Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who entered the race last month. In a recent Public Policy Polling poll, O’Malley showed up in last place behind Sanders, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb, and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. The former Maryland Governor garners simlar showings in the polls out of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida. Part of the reason for this, of course, is due to the fact that he is little known outside the Washington, D.C. area but one suspects that O’Malley’s numbers won’t look all that much better even after voters get to know him better.

It’s possible, I suppose, that O’Malley could catch fire among the “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party that, while it won’t win him the nomination, will give him more media coverage and voter support than he might have gotten otherwise. If that’s going to happen for any of Clinton’s opponents, though, I suspect that it would be more likely to happen to Bernie Sanders, who clearly has nothing to lose in this race, or Jim Webb, who has been making inroads with Democratic “progressives” on his own. For one thing, O’Malley’s record as Governor of Maryland leaves much to be desired, a fact that seems to be aptly demonstrated by the fact that he was unable to get his own Lt. Governor elected to succeed him in one of the most traditionally blue states on the East Coast. In addition to that, though, O’Malley  was Mayor of Baltimore before he was Governor of Maryland and he was responsible for many of the police policies that helped spark the protests in that city in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray last month. How a candidate like that can have serious appeal with minority voters is beyond me.

Stranger things have happened in politics, but Martin O’Malley doesn’t seem to me to be going anywhere.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jack says:

    Another Democrat running on a platform of “Chief Executive” for a failed state or city. Why not Rod Blagojevich or Kwame Kilpatrick?

  2. Paul L. says:

    Hopefully he will campaign on his support of and the need for a Federal Law Enforcement Bill of Rights (LEBOR) .

  3. grumpy realist says:

    Martin who? Never heard of the guy.

  4. Electroman says:

    Hopefully he’ll be as successful as the most-successful former Maryland governor, Spiro Agnew.

  5. stonetools says:

    For one thing, O’Malley’s record as Governor of Maryland leaves much to be desired, a fact that seems to be aptly demonstrated by the fact that he was unable to get his own Lt. Governor elected to succeed him in one of the most traditionally blue states on the East Coast. In addition to that, though, O’Malley was Mayor of Baltimore before he was Governor of Maryland and he was responsible for many of the police policies that helped spark the protests in that city in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray last month. How a candidate like that can have serious appeal with minority voters is beyond me.

    I’m not sure you get Maryland politics, Doug. Martin O’Malley is much more than his police policies. He won the mayoralty of a majority black city, and police policy aside, pursued liberal policies. He then became the twice elected governor of Maryland, and appointed as lieutenant governor the first African American ever to hold the position. He had overwhelming minority support in both elections. He was considered very successful as a governor, passing legislation to legalize same sex marriage and abolish the death penalty.His handpicked successor, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, sadly was unable to capitalize on O’Malley’s record and went down to defeat in an offyear election that was a Republican landslide nationwide.

    Now is O’Malley going to beat HRC? Nope- but he just might get a Cabinet position,which could be a stepping stone to other things ( he is still relatively young). From my perspective as a liberal, the good thing is that he will challenge Hillary from left, forcing her to keep her positions liberal. (Full disclosure: I have met Mr. O’Malley a couple of times at campaign events).

  6. Jack says:

    @stonetools: Considering the last time Republicans held even one chamber of the Maryland General Assembly–the House–was 1917, does O’Malley also espouse the position that the problem with Maryland and Baltimore as a subset is because of those darn Republicans?

  7. J-Dub says:

    @Jack: What exactly is the “problem with Maryland”? I’ve lived here my whole life and I have no complaints, other than the humidity, but I don’t think I can place the blame for than on anyone.

  8. grumpy realist says:

    @J-Dub: No, didn’t you realize that Demoncrats are responsible for everything wrong in the world, including the bird that did a dooty on your parked car?

    It’s very comfortable for people like Jack to believe this.

  9. Jack says:

    @J-Dub: The fact that Maryland politics has more in common with the mafia than a Democracy comes to mind.

  10. Jack says:

    @grumpy realist: As more and more Democrat run cities and states go bankrupt. But don’t blame the Democrats for this, no. Find anyone to blame other than the Democrats.

  11. J-Dub says:

    I don’t think Baltimore or Maryland are in any danger of going bankrupt. This ain’t Kansas.

  12. Hello World! says:

    O’Malley has a great record as Governor and Mayor, but you might not want to acknowledge that. …And, on the issue of crime, at the time his stance was the right stance to have. However, when crime falls as much as it did in Baltimore during his era it might be time to stand down. Also, he can absolutely beat Hillary, who is being shoved down the throats of democrats by establishment democrats!

    Is there an independent media anywhere, or does OTB just regurgitate what the mainstream media message is? It sure feels that way sometimes.

  13. Pinky says:

    @stonetools:

    He then became the twice elected governor of Maryland, and appointed as lieutenant governor the first African American ever to hold the position.

    Bzzzzt! LG Anthony Brown immediately followed Michael Steele.

  14. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Yea, that highest median income in the nation thing, year after year, certainly indicates a failed state, I tell you what …

  15. stonetools says:

    @Pinky:

    Oh , ya got me :-(.

    (More full disclosure: I have also met Michael Steele-who was a nice guy).

  16. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: So, you made a comment about MD politics calling Anthony Brown the first African American LG, when you’d actually met the previous African American LG? That’s weird. It’s weird because you did that in a comment that accused Doug of not knowing about MD politics. And your comment was filled with racial observations. But you didn’t credit Republican Bob Ehrlich for choosing the first black lieutenant governor.

  17. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pinky:

    Doug doesn’t know much about MD politics, IMO. MD voters didn’t love Ehrlich – they genuinely disliked KKT, who should serve as an example of how to do everything wrong in a political campaign.

    Brown was KKT redux – he evidently expected to be anointed governor by acclamation and basically didn’t campaign.

    The likely outcome with Hogan will be what it was for Ehrlich – being tossed out of office. They’re placeholders.

    (It’s also worth noting that Ehrlich didn’t select Steele as his running mate in 2006)

  18. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Yea, that highest median income in the nation thing, year after year, certainly indicates a failed state, I tell you what …

    Baltimore riots certainly indicate a failed state, I tell you what.

  19. Gavrilo says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    (It’s also worth noting that Ehrlich didn’t select Steele as his running mate in 2006)

    Um, that’s because Michael Steele ran for U.S. Senate in 2006.

  20. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Um, that’s because Michael Steele ran for U.S. Senate in 2006.

    Yup, and how did that one work out? 😀

  21. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Baltimore riots indicate decades of job losses in manufacturing stemming from factors that are well beyond Baltimore’s control, along with things like redlining and block-busting.

    Remind me where you are from again?

  22. Pinky says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    (It’s also worth noting that Ehrlich didn’t select Steele as his running mate in 2006)

    Um, that’s because Michael Steele ran for U.S. Senate in 2006.

    Yup, and how did that one work out? 😀

    What does that even mean? Why is it worth noting that Ehrlich didn’t select Steele? And what would “how it worked out” have do to with it?

  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pinky:

    It’s worth noting for a few potential reasons:

    Ehrlich dumped Steele, which is why Steele ran for the Senate

    Steele was smart enough to see that Ehrlich was going to go down in flames, and jumped ship to a Senate campaign.

    The underlying dynamic remains the same – Ehrlich was a placeholder governor who got elected because the Dem candidate thoroughly offended the electorate. Hogan got elected for the same reason. It happens occasionally in Maryland, and people on the other side of the political fence always want to read more into it than it actually says.

    For four years, we got to hear how Ehrlich represented a tidal change in Maryland politics, until he got tossed out on his behind. We’re hearing the same thing now about Hogan, and he’s exceedingly likely to be looking for new digs in 2018 as well.

    Maryland just elected arguably the most liberal Attorney General in its history, and the electorate gave him about 150,000 more votes than they gave Hogan. Hogan winning doesn’t mean what many of you want for it to mean, just like it didn’t with Ehrlich.

  24. Gavrilo says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Ok. No one is talking about Bob Ehrlich except for you. No one is making the argument that Hogan’s victory means a tidal change in MD. All @Pinky: did was call out @stonetools: for the demonstrably false comment that O’Malley appointed the first African-American LG.

  25. stonetools says:

    @Pinky:

    Well, I did forget about Michael Steele (frankly, not all that hard to do). But Ok, I will give Erlich full credit for putting him on the ticket.

    And your comment was filled with racial observations

    I was explaining that Doug that O’Malley has been successful in getting minority support-and why.

  26. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Gavrilo:

    LOL, I hear it regularly.

    Pinky called her out on her error, which she acknowleged. He then proceeded to run with it further, so it’s open to reply however one wishes.

  27. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    Baltimore riots certainly indicate a failed state, I tell you what.

    Based on the recent “white riot” between two biker gangs inTexas (which killed nine more people than died in the Baltimore disturbance), does that make Texas a failed state?

  28. J-Dub says:

    @Jack:

    Baltimore riots certainly indicate a failed state, I tell you what.

    The riots are indicative of one local police jurisdiction that is need of reform, hardly evidence of a “failed state”. It doesn’t sound like you know anything about Maryland beyond what you have heard on Fox News in the past month.

  29. An Interested Party says:

    Oh yes, Maryland is such a horrible failing “Democrat” state…it must be so much better to live in Republican paradises like Mississippi, Alabama, or Kansas, among others…

  30. Pinky says:

    Harvard and Stone –

    What’s the narrative here? You’re saying that Maryland is naturally Democratic, so much so that only a Dem who sabotages his campaign could fail. You’re also praising O’Malley for being able to win two terms.

    Another contradiction – Harvard says

    Ehrlich dumped Steele, which is why Steele ran for the Senate

    Steele was smart enough to see that Ehrlich was going to go down in flames, and jumped ship to a Senate campaign.

    Those are mutually exclusive. There’s a third contradiction here, more subtle. You’re equating the KKT loss with Brown’s – but KKT lost due to a poorly-run campaign, whereas the Brown race revolved around his actual record on implementing health care reform. So Brown’s loss was more of a referendum on the O’Malley years. But you’re crediting O’Malley’s record more.

  31. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pinky:

    They were intended to be mutually exclusive, as potential rationales tend to be.

    Brown’s campaign, to the extent that it really even existed, consisted almost entirely of attacks on Hogan, avoiding the press and saying next to nothing about what he intended to / hoped to accomplish as governor. He was exactly KKT all over again, which is why he lost.

  32. DrDaveT says:

    @stonetools:

    Well, I did forget about Michael Steele (frankly, not all that hard to do).

    I wish. I went to college with him.

    (Though he was remarkably good as Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man. That should have been a warning to us all…)

  33. Hal_10000 says:

    and police policy aside, pursued liberal policiesi

    Well, it’s not like his police policies have blown up in a big way.

    Oh, wait…

    Yea, that highest median income in the nation thing, year after year, certainly indicates a failed state, I tell you what …

    Well, I’m sure O’Malley can turn that into a national policy. Maybe we can all move outside of DC and be employed by federal contractors.

    I only lived in Baltimore for three years but I was unimpressed by O’Malley. The entire time he was mayor, he was obviously running for governor. And the problems in Baltimore — poverty, infrastructure, aggressive policing — he made worse if anything. I hope he does run so that we can highlight what a state and city that have been exclusively run by Democrats and embraced every Democratic policy — massive spending on schools, massive expansion of the public sector, tax hikes on the rich and huge “investments” in the inner city — looks like.

  34. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    You might not want to admit it, but by any objective standard, Maryland-run mostly by Democrats-is a pretty successful state, as compared to say, Republican-led states like Mississipi, Alabama, Louisiana, etc, etc. You can spin that anyway you want, mate, but them’s the facts.
    Now Baltimore is an old smokestack/coastal port town that has suffered heavily from deindustraliziation, globalization and migration of jobs to cheaper countries. I don’t know how to fix that, and I bet you don’t know either. (I do know that there is no simple, free market, “libertarian” solution.)As for successful Democratic led cities, there are plenty of those-San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Austin. Want to talk about those?

  35. J-Dub says:

    @Hal_10000:

    massive spending on schools

    From the party whose mantra is “I am not a scientist”.

  36. J-Dub says:

    @stonetools: Baltimore has done a pretty good job at transforming itself into a health care and financial services hub but that has admittedly left some people behind. It suffers from the same inequality that is plaguing the entire nation right now and it obviously bubbled up to the surface a few weeks back.

  37. Hal_10000 says:

    @stonetools:

    Yes, I can tell how successful the state is by the roads going to complete crap once I cross the state border, as well as the massive crime rate and poverty in its central city. If it were not for being next door to DC and therefore hosting numerous government agencies and contractors (e.g., Goddard, Bathesda, Naval Academy, etc.), the state would be in a massive fiscal hole..

    @J-Dub:

    1) I’m not a Republican; 2) Baltimore has one of the highest per pupil spending numbers in the country, which is astonishingly unsuccessful

  38. J-Dub says:

    @Hal_10000:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/05/23/the-dramatic-inequality-of-public-school-spending-in-america/

    From this article, 7 of the top 18 school districts in terms of spending per pupil are in Maryland, with Baltimore City topping the list. I think Maryland as a whole does well with that high level of spending, i.e. Howard and Montgomery counties are probably two of the best school systems in the country. I don’t think many Marylanders would be in favor of cutting funding to those school systems.

    But you have a point with Baltimore City. I imagine a city school system has some higher costs that a suburban system (security for one), but it would be interesting to see what they are spending all that money on. New York City, Boston, and DC are the only systems that spend more than Baltimore. DC schools have historically been awful, not sure about NYC and Boston.

  39. J-Dub says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If it were not for being next door to DC and therefore hosting numerous government agencies and contractors (e.g., Goddard, Bathesda, Naval Academy, etc.), the state would be in a massive fiscal hole..

    Doesn’t that apply to any place? “If not for their main source of jobs the state would be in a massive fiscal hole”

    Are we supposed to apologize for being close to the federal gov’t? No, we can’t take those jobs, it wouldn’t be fair…

  40. J-Dub says:

    @Hal_10000:

    the roads going to complete crap once I cross the state border

    I just think this is a patently false statement. Maybe you are referring to Baltimore City, where the underlying infrastructure is 200 years old and constantly needs to be dug up and repaired, but overall the state has excellent roads in my opinion. I also live in MA and the roads there definitely suck as the plows tear the crap out of them every winter. We have the same problem in MD to a lesser extent, but I would argue that states that get no snow have an advantage in the roads department.

  41. J-Dub says:

    @J-Dub: Looking at that chart further, most of those school districts are cities, several are DC area suburbs, with a few other suburban sytems thrown in from around the country (Louisiana parishes, maybe they are near NOLA?).

  42. J-Dub says:

    @Hal_10000:
    http://www.newsweek.com/do-baltimore-schools-need-more-money-329085

    This article talks about a study that shows throwing money at the school problem has little effect. Seems like they need a more fundamental change in the way they educate, not just more funding.

  43. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    So you don’t know how to fix Baltimore, but let’s talk about roads! (FWIW,) I don’t think of Maryland roads as any worse than the roads in Republican-led Virginia, where I live). I see you don’t wan’t to talk about successful Democratic-led cities like San Francisco, though, or failing Republican-led states like Louisiana or Alabama, so SQUIRREL!

    If it were not for being next door to DC and therefore hosting numerous government agencies and contractors (e.g., Goddard, Bathesda, Naval Academy, etc.), the state would be in a massive fiscal hole..

    And you could say the exact same thing for Republican -led Virginia. But you can run counterfactuals all day. Where would Texas be without oil? Where would Nebraska be without corn? Where would we all be if an asteriod had hit Earth 100 years ago?

    2) Baltimore has one of the highest per pupil spending numbers in the country, which is astonishingly unsuccessful

    So? Maybe when you build a 400 year old racial caste system, fixing associated problems, like a school system dominated by pupils from the oppressed caste, may not be cheap. Welcome to effing reality.

    I’m not a Republican

    Heh, sure you’re not. You just hate the Democrats. Man, you need to just give up that pretense. It’s really wearing thin. But OK, you’re an independent-the king of nothing who’s responsible for nothing and who’s in favor of nothing. Enjoy your nonentity.

  44. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: Ridiculous comment.

    – I don’t know Hal, but just because someone disagrees with you, that doesn’t make him a Republican.
    – Baltimore isn’t the only city that exists following a 400-year-old racial caste system.
    – Not following you when you change the subject is called “squirrel”?

  45. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: And also – Virginia has a larger non-DC-metro population, which offsets the financial benefits of being near the nation’s capital. We’ve talked about this recently here.

  46. wr says:

    @Pinky: “– Not following you when you change the subject is called “squirrel”?”

    It’s a pop culture reference. Google Dug the Talking Dog.

  47. J-Dub says:

    @Pinky:

    Virginia has a larger non-DC-metro population, which offsets the financial benefits of being near the nation’s capital.

    But those areas have the moonshine industry.

  48. An Interested Party says:

    Baltimore has one of the highest per pupil spending numbers in the country, which is astonishingly unsuccessful

    That lack of success has more to do with the socioeconomic conditions of most of the students in those schools than it does with how much money is being spent on those schools…

  49. Pinky says:

    @wr: It’s not the particular meme that interests me. It’s the way some of the liberals on this site confuse one word for an argument. If someone on the right raises questions about Clinton’s finances, naming a town in Libya with a lot of exclamation points is enough of a response. Liberals will rail against Doug’s supposed “both sides do it” thinking, but if someone criticizes a liberal, “IOKIYAR” is a complete reply. There are some lazy people on the right, including on this site, but I can’t think of any who’ve degraded to the point of single-word grunted replies.

  50. Pinky says:

    @An Interested Party: I’ll ask you the same thing I asked stonetools: is Baltimore the only city that has to deal with that?

  51. An Interested Party says:

    If someone on the right raises questions about Clinton’s finances, naming a town in Libya with a lot of exclamation points is enough of a response.

    Actually, naming the potential Republican opponents that Hillary Clinton might face is more than enough of a response…

    …is Baltimore the only city that has to deal with that?

    Of course not, but I’m sure that the results of Baltimore schools are the same as other school systems that have a majority of students who suffer from the same socioeconomic conditions as those of most students in Baltimore…

  52. Pinky says:

    @An Interested Party: When you say that you’re sure it is, does that mean you haven’t looked it up? A quick check here http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/05/23/the-dramatic-inequality-of-public-school-spending-in-america/ shows Baltimore as the fourth most expensive system in the country. I was going to check for worst school districts in the country, but I just typed “wost school districts in the us” into Google, and am too humiliated to continue. I’m “sure” that Baltimore isn’t the fourth best in the country.

  53. An Interested Party says:

    @Pinky:

    I wasn’t talking about money, I was talking about results…do you have some reason to doubt that comparable school districts with students who have comparable socioeconomic conditions produce radically different results than those in Baltimore? In the end, the home lives of kids probably have far more to do with academic success than how much money is being spent on the schools they attend…

  54. Pinky says:

    @An Interested Party: You replied to the following, putting it in blockquote:

    Baltimore has one of the highest per pupil spending numbers in the country, which is astonishingly unsuccessful

    That’s about money and results.

  55. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:

    I was going to check for worst school districts in the country, but I just typed “wost school districts in the us” into Google, and am too humiliated to continue.

    Out of curiosity I typed that same search and came away with this from Education Week:
    10 Worst School Systems in the US

    1. Mississippi
    2. Nevada
    3. New Mexico
    4. Oklahoma
    5. Arizona
    6. Idaho
    7. Alabama
    8. Louisiana
    9. South Carolina
    10. California

    10 Best School Systems in the US

    1. Massachusetts
    2. New Jersey
    3. Maryland
    4. Vermont
    5. New Hampshire
    6. Connecticut
    7. Wyoming
    8. Pennsylvania
    9. New York
    10. Minnesota

    and the 10 worst schools in the US

    1. Nelson Island Area School Bethel, AK
    2. International High School Lawrence, MA
    3. Options PCS Washington, DC
    4. Career Success JR/SR High School Phoenix, AZ
    5. Hope CS Philadelphia, PA
    6. Strawberry Mansion High School Philadelphia, PA
    7. Akiachak School Bethel, AK
    8. Vaux Roberts High School Philadelphia, PA
    9. West Park Charter Academy Fresno, CA
    10. Performance Conservatory High School Bronx, NY

    Make of that what you will, but the message doesn’t seem to be Democratic policies lead to poor schools. Poor urban and poor rural schools tend to have a harder time of it, but that should have been evident to anyone paying attention.