Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley: The Challenger Who Dares Not Speak Clinton's Name

The former Maryland governor promotes his potential presidential campaign on This Week.

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Why doesn't anyone ever compare me to Omar? Everyone loves Omar.
This Week

Martin O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland and probable presidential candidate, got off one good line when George Stephanopoulos interviewed him on This Week yesterday: "The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families." And then the Maryland Democrat immediately undercut himself. Stephanopoulos asked if he was referring to the Clintons and the Bushes. The answer is obviously yes, but O'Malley, who appears allergic to directly attacking his party's frontrunner, replied that his comment applies to "any two families." So if you were worried that the country was doomed to be governed forevermore by people named Carter and Reagan, don't worry; O'Malley's got your back.

Otherwise O'Malley spent the interview hopping back and forth between two appeals to voters. In one pitch, he's the man for left-wing Democrats tired of waiting for Elizabeth Warren to get into the race. In the other, he stresses his executive experience and says he has a history of "bringing people together to get things done." The two approaches aren't innately contradictory—O'Malley is indeed a liberal, though not really of the Elizabeth Warren type, and he does have experience as a governor and mayor—but in practice it means a series of tonal shifts, from outsider populist to consensus-seeking technocrat and back again. It doesn't help that O'Malley's politics aren't actually all that different from Clinton's, nor that even when he's clearly criticizing her he's reluctant to mention her by name. At one point, after one of Stephanopoulos' periodic references to his rival, he insisted that his comments were "not about being for or against any other candidate." It's hard to imagine Jim Webb or Bernie Sanders saying that. This just isn't the way an insurgent candidate talks.

And then next summer we can change them so they say "Hillary."
Crockett Johnson

One last note: At the beginning of the segment, Stephanopoulos mentioned that O'Malley is widely believed to have been the basis for Tommy Carcetti, the character elected mayor of Baltimore in the third season of HBO's The Wire. As Stephanopoulos spoke, clips from the program flashed onscreen. This was a not-so-subtle bit of baiting: O'Malley infamously hates the show, and even if he loved it he surely wouldn't like being compared to the adulterous and opportunistic Carcetti. But the practiced pol did a pretty good job of keeping a smile glued on.

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  1. Real Clear Politics polling average, democratic nomination: Hillary Clinton – first by a mile with 57.7%, Martin “Who” O’Malley – dead last with 1.2%.

    O’Malley’s biggest legacy is that he got a republican elected governor in a state where democrats outnumber republicans two to one.

    1. That’s weird. People here keep saying Hillary has no chance (because of some e-mail scandal the press almost certainly won’t care about by 2016).

      1. The press does not care about it in 2015

      2. Polls this early are pointless. Half of the people polled don’t know the names of anyone other than Hillary yet. And that includes Biden.

        1. I would be shocked if more than 30% of the entire country could even tell you who Joe Biden is.

    2. The only people who no who he is are political junkies even people from Maryland are trying to forget about him. After Hogan’s term is up all the democrats will have their base thinking he was the governor for the last 20 years.

      1. *know

      2. Every 8 or 12 years, Maryland elects a Republican to quietly clean up the mess of Democratic administration and serve as a scapegoat so that the next Democrat can ooze into office looking squeaky clean.

        1. Yep. See one Robert Erhlich.

  2. He is a fucking poser populist loser who is parroting the idiocy about how repealing part of Glass-Steagall caused the financial collapse of 2008.

    1. BUUUUTTPLU- oh wait, that’s actually a sensible comment.

  3. “bringing people together to get things done.”

    O’Malley has a “gift” for speaking at length without saying anything of substance. It’s almost worth watching him “debate” for the implicit lessons in rhetoric and critical thinking.

    1. So you think he’ll be the front-runner by June.

      1. It could happen. 8-(

    2. Reminds you of someone else, doesn’t it…

  4. You do know what the Clinton crime family will do to him if he directly attacks them?

    He’ll stay coy and pray for HILLARY!! to implode.
    It’s not the best stategy but he’s not going to risk his life for some phoney baloney job.

    1. O’Malley is not an opponent; he is a dance partner, and he knows it. He’s just out there so Hillary won’t look silly jigging all alone under the disco ball.

  5. He can’t attack Hillary because she would just play the victim and the poor woman and make him look like a bully. That is right; the feminist icon Hillary would absolutely hide behind the role of the weaker sex to keep from being treated like any male candidate would be treated. Hillary is not well liked by the left base of the party. But if someone actually dared to treat her as an equal rather than defer to her superior femininity, the base would close around her and elect her out of spite. So, O’Malley is smart to do what he is doing.

  6. We all know he was talking about the Downtowns and the Abbeys.

    1. No, he was speaking of the Hohenlofe-Oehringens and the Anhalt-Ascherslebens. Enough of these presupposing plenipotentiaries!

      1. Well, presupposing plenipotentiaries are bad enough, but the pusillanimous presupposing plenipotentiaries, well, they’re just too much!

  7. “O’Malley infamously hates the show”

    And I hate him now.

    Barksdale/Bell 2016
    ‘The game is the fuckin’ game.’

    1. Stringer would be the better president, but he’s too smart to make it through the primaries.

      1. Mistah Stringer, he dead.*

        *If memory serves. Its been awhile.

  8. This just isn’t the way an insurgent candidate talks.

    This is precisely the way a candidate running for Vice-President by first running for president, and hoping to make nice with the primary winner, talks.

  9. We dare not speak The Enemy’s name aloud.

  10. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link,
    go to tech tab for work detail ????????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  11. My roomate’s mom makes $74 /hr on the computer . She has been out of work for 6 months but last month her income was $20654 just working on the computer for a few hours.
    look at here now????????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  12. my classmate’s sister-in-law makes USD~87 hourly on the computer . She has been laid off for six months but last month her income was $20029 just working on the computer for a few hours.

    read this article — Post-Report.Com

  13. my classmate’s sister-in-law makes $87 hourly on the computer . She has been laid off for six months but last month her income was $20029 just working on the computer for a few hours.

    read this article –Post-Report.Com

  14. The populist tough-on-business O’Malley is the guy who took a massive illegal campaign donation from a firm he just happened to give a nice fat public contract to, right? Oh, yea. Just like all the other left wing ‘populists’ he’s completely full of shit.

    How much cognitive dissonance does it take as a progressive to ignore the fact that your champion of the little guy candidate is consistently taking money from the people they rail against in public speeches?

    1. And what irony to see O’Malley become the darling of smug progressives who love The Wire, but seemingly took nothing of value from it.

  15. He won’t criticize her too harshly because he is gunning for the veep slot.

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