Martin O'Malley

As Martin O'Malley Enters Presidential Race, Protesters Undercut His Progressive Image

Trouble for a would-be Great Left Hope

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They were going to show a video on this screen, but the sound konked out so they ended it early.
Jesse Walker

BALTIMORE—For months, Martin O'Malley has been creeping leftward, shedding his image as a center-left technocrat and trying to present himself as a bold progressive, a man for Democrats disappointed that Elizabeth Warren isn't seeking the White House. Today in Federal Hill Park, as the former Baltimore mayor and former Maryland governor officially entered the presidential race, he tried hard to embrace that identity as a souped-up liberal insurgent. He spoke about economic stagnation and inequality. He preached about inclusion, even adding the word "transgender" to his rundown of American diversity. He worked hard to sound like Bobby Kennedy, though with his platitudinous speaking style he landed closer to John Edwards territory. He even ended his infamous reluctance to criticize Hillary Clinton by name, remarking that an executive at Goldman Sachs had said he'd "be just fine with either Bush or Clinton," then adding: "I'll bet he would!"

But on the outskirts of the crowd—and the outskirts weren't all that far from the speaker's platform—a noisy group of protesters punctured O'Malley's posture as the Great Left Hope. It began with a woman holding a "Stop Killer Cops" sign, shouting, "Black lives matter!" Another guy yelled, "We don't need zero tolerance policies, O'Malley!" and "700,000 arrests under your watch, O'Malley!" and "What about police brutality?" One group just started blowing whistles for a while, which in my corner of the park drowned the speaker out entirely. At one point, I'm pretty sure there were more cameras pointed at a group of demonstrators arguing with the cops than there were pointed at the candidate.

O'Malley carried on, listing his positions on college (make it cheaper), the minimum wage (make it higher), immigrants (treat 'em right), and so on. But the mayor whose wholesale disregard for the Fourth Amendment did so much to set the stage for Baltimore's recent riots, the man who made this announcement in Baltimore for the express purpose of pointing to his accomplishments here, didn't have much to say about the events that made his city the focus of world attention last month. The riots were a "heartbreaking night," he said, and there was "something to be learned from that night." But that lesson, he quickly added, was "not just about race" and "not just about policing." No, "it was about everything it is supposed to mean to be an American"—why just look at all the white people on heroin! And unemployment! And various other subjects with one thing in common: They had nothing to do with this ugly underside to O'Malley's record as mayor.

The demonstrators were only a small segment of the crowd, but they were a harsh reminder of a topic the candidate would rather not discuss. Coming at the end of a week that saw fellow candidate Bernie Sanders stealing O'Malley's thunder on the left's economic issues, it wasn't a very auspicious start for the campaign. But O'Malley kept his composure through it all, and he smiled broadly at the end of his speech, enjoying his supporters' cheers. Give the man his due. He may well be our next vice president.

NEXT: Everything Is Awesome and Camille Paglia Is Unhappy

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  1. But wht does he hate women? /its Hillarys turn

  2. He may well be our next vice president.

    So… Uncle Marty?

  3. Is he making the equivalent of an annual income sufficient to put you in the evil 1% with every single speech, just like the candidate Tony supports? Is he being illegally funded by foreign regimes that rape women and behead gays, just like the candidate Tony supports?

    1. The problem with this line of attack, Johnny, is that A) Tony is never going to respond and B) there’s like three or four people operating “Tony”.

      1. Which considering the intelligence that “Toby” exhibits, must put their aggregate I.Q. somewhere in the 60’s.

  4. a noisy group of protesters punctured O’Malley’s posture as the Great Left Hope.

    I wonder who hired them?

    1. I don’t know, but I bet they payments weren’t reported and the relevant emails are missing.

    2. And did they ” #cutthecheck” ?

  5. When he lived in Baltimore and was its mayor none of his children attended the public city schools. guess he wanted them exempt from his ineptitide.

    1. Clearly it was for their security. No one on the left could be above mingling with the masses.

      1. The schools are perfectly safe. Haven’t you seen the signs forbidding weapons, drugs, and alcohol?

        1. Plus, school security is proper government function. If he cannot provide it for schools even where his own kids attend, then he’s not much of a leader.

  6. Just what we need, more “progress” rom the progressives.

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  8. Give the man his due. He may well be our next vice president.

    There’s no way the Clinton camp rewards him with that after he comes right out of the gate with “Hillary equals Jeb.” Particularly not when he offers nothing demographically, and particularly not with the Baltimore baggage.

    He’ll come in third in Iowa and NH, drop out of the race, get a show on MSNBC that lasts about eight weeks, then go into private law practice in Baltimore. He makes Bernie Sanders look thrilling.

    1. If falls way behind early, he then runs for Barabara Mikulski’s senate seat (she said she’s not running in 2016).

  9. So who will Hillary choose for her VP?

    Not O’Malley. He doesn’t help her get elected.

    Warren? If she stays out of the race, that could be the deal she cut with Hillary. Hey, if one woman is historic, an all-chick ticket would be historic squared, amirite?

    Its shocking just how thin the Dem bench is. No other name just leaps to mind as an even minimally credible VP candidate.

    1. Why not Biden? He’s proven he can do the job.

      1. I only want Plugs Biden if he promises to take his shotgun with him on all diplomatic missions.

    2. Julian Castro.

      Because he’s Messkin.

      1. This is becoming the most obvious primary ever for Hillary.

      2. Julian Castro will be the Hillary’s VP nomination. Make note so you can later bow to my assume prediction.

        1. … that should be awesome. Damn spell check.

          1. It’s much better the other way…lol…

        1. She will out an end to zie dilly-dallying.

  10. I’ll never forgive him for killing Hamsterdam.

  11. In order for any of these liberal policies to be implemented, they must be done through thievery and violence. Yet I don’t see these folks robbing or aggressing against their neighbors……..

    1. The get government to do it. Plausible deniability.

  12. At one point, I’m pretty sure there were more cameras pointed at a group of demonstrators arguing with the cops than there were pointed at the candidate.

    Not on the MSNBC feed.

  13. It’s a pity that this kind of protester never seems to make the connection between Progressive politics and Fascism. It isn’t that this twerp is a technocrat pretending to be a Progressive. It’s that he’s a Progressive, and police brutality and mass incarceration is one of the predictable consequences of Progressive policy.

    1. That’s an error in the article as well: there’s nothing anti-Progressive about draconian police policies. The police states of Twentieth Century Europe were all based on progressive ideologies.

  14. Elizabeth Warren is the only thing that could froth up the part of the base that hates Hillary to the point where they would come out and vote.

    I don’t know if Hillary is secure enough of an individual to appoint her.

    It will probably be the Mexican.

  15. Jesse, did you mean John Edwards or John Edward when it comes to platitudes?

  16. Prohibition is going to be a big issue in ’16. I’m rooting for Rand.

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  18. My buddy’s step-sister makes $63 hourly on the internet . She has been unemployed for 10 months but last month her payment was $19497 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    read more ?????????? http://www.BuzzReport20.com

  19. Jesse,

    Just what kind of trouble did you get into with your boss? They made you go to MARYLAND?

  20. Don’t discount O’Malley. He may have gotten off to a rocky start and he’s not recognizable to most of the nation, but he’s a capable and polished campaigner. He’s a lot better at it than Clinton, and can certainly argue he’s more “electable” than Sanders.

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