Maryland Governor O’Malley On Path To Run For President

With the question of what Hillary Clinton is going to do still up in the air, many potential Democratic candidates are sitting on the sidelines and being rather quiet about their intentions in the 2016 Presidential race. The same cannot be said for Maryland’s Democratic Governor:

MILWAUKEE — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, speaking candidly to a group of reporters Saturday, said he has spent the last several months weighing a bid for the presidency and laying what he called the “framework of a candidacy for 2016.”

O’Malley last spoke at length about his presidential ambitions in April, when he toldThe Baltimore Sun he would give “serious consideration” to a White House race as he rounds out what will be his second and last term as governor of Maryland.

Asked how that process has been going so far, O’Malley said, “It’s going well.”

He described a handful of recent speeches as the conduit through which he has been able to present his national policy beliefs to a wider audience. “[I’ve] given a number of talks: the commencement at St. Mary’s College, the climate change talk, the Center for American Progress,” he said.

“So by the end of this year, I think we’re on course to have a body of work that lays the framework of a candidacy for 2016,” said O’Malley, who is here in Wisconsin this weekend for the National Governors Association summer meeting.

The governor also highlighted his political action committee — named, “O’ Say Can You See PAC” — that this week reported raising more than $500,000 in the first six months of the year.

“Another part of the work is the PAC and the work that we’re doing to help elect like-minded candidates,” he said. “And also to the work that comes from increasing our activity online and social media — I mean, all of these things are part of that process.”

In all honestly, I can’t say that O’Malley has distinguished himself to any great degree as Governor of Maryland. The state’s economy isn’t exactly booming, although the recent introduction of casino gambling around the state has apparently been quite a boon for both jobs and state tax revenues. On the whole, I’m not entirely sure then what O’Malley brings to the race regardless of whether Hillary runs or not. To a large degree, he may end up representing the more “progressive” side of the Democratic base, but it seems hard to conceive of him as the nominee, especially if Hillary runs.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, Climate Change, The Presidency, 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. michael reynolds says:

    You want some totally speculative conspiracy-mongering?

    He’s there to cock-block Joe Biden in case Biden decides to take on Hillary. Maryland, Delaware, both eastern seaboard, one younger, one older, one an active governor one a Veep. If Biden doesn’t get in, O’Malley doesn’t either and earns himself a Veep consideration for his troubles when Hillary gets the nom.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If Biden doesn’t get in, O’Malley doesn’t either and earns himself a Veep consideration for his troubles when Hillary gets the nom.

    I like that one. Although it’s early, I’d bet you could get 50-1 odds on that in Vegas right now. At those odds I’d lay $20 on it.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    I’d like to be your go-to guy for completely unfounded, entirely speculative analysis and long-odds bets.

  4. @michael reynolds:

    That’s certainly possible.

    I’m not sure about the VP thing, though. Maryland is a solid blue state and I’m not sure what O’Malley would bring to a ticket that has Hillary Clinton at the top. I’ve been thinking that one of the people likely to be near the top of her list for VP would be former Virginia Governor (and current Senator) Mark Warner. His approval numbers here are incredibly high, to the point where its unlikely that the GOP is going to put up a serious challenge to him in next year. Indeed, there were some state Democrats who tried to convince Warner to run for Governor this year, but he declined. Warner also has ties to the tech community that would prove very useful for fundraisng purposes.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Mmm, Warner would be a really good choice. Purple state with high approval? Tasty.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    By the way, we’re talking about 2016 and it’s only halfway through 2013. You do realize we are very close to the point where we start talking about 2020 while we still haven’t had 2016, right? I think we should draw the line and refuse to discuss presidential elections more than two terms out. So no 2028 talk!

    Although. . . Chelsea. And surely there’s a young Bush somewhere. . .

  7. @michael reynolds:

    Chelsea will run against Malia Obama for the Democratic nomination while George P. Bush takes on his cousin Jenna Bush Hager for the Republican nomination.

  8. B. Minich says:

    O’Malley strikes me as a good mayor who has gotten promoted by the political version of the Peter Principle to a job he just isn’t as good at. I’ve heard Baltimorians who loved the job he did as mayor. But he hasn’t really stood out as anything other than Generic Democrat as governor.

  9. Paul L. says:

    Odd, no mention of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s prison scandal.
    Martin O’Malley tries to spin away jail failures
    Or will progressives do like they did with Willie Horton and call anyone who mentions it racist?

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    For the record I refuse to lower myself to this kind of pointless speculation about the political futures of political scions because (Cough, cough, Ron cough Reagan Jr. Cough.) it would be wrong.

  11. stonetools says:

    O’ Malley had a pretty good year last year.

    * made SSM legal in Maryland
    *repealed the death penalty
    *passed a fiscal stimulus bill
    * passed gun safety legislation
    *spoke at the Democratic convention in prime time.

    His state has an unemployment rate(5.6 per cent) well below the national average and its schools are near the top.In 2009, Governing Magazine named O’Malley “Public Official of the Year.” He has achieved a lot.
    He is not the most charismatic, but as an Irish Catholic, he could appeal to the ethnic blue collar vote in a way that Joe Biden did. And he is young.
    I don’t see him winning the presidential nomination in 2016, but I could see a very effective Clinton-O’Malley ticket.
    I agree with Doug that Clinton-Warner might be even better, though.

  12. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    Odd, no mention of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s prison scandal.
    Martin O’Malley tries to spin away jail failures
    Or will progressives do like they did with Willie Horton and call anyone who mentions it racist?

    Or will conservatives attempt – for the 41st time – to repeal or diminish ACA? I’m putting my money on conservative self-flagellation, and you?

  13. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: As Doug points out, there isn’t much on that list that would persuade someone who wasn’t leaning toward voting Democratic anyway.