Hey, do you remember Martin O’Malley’s 2016 presidential campaign? No? Well, you’re probably in good company. After showing up for some debates in the primary where he squared off against Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, O’Malley charged into the Iowa caucuses where he managed to ring up an astounding… 0.6% of the vote. After that he suspended his campaign and went home to work out a plan that might bring him up into single digits.
It turns out that the former Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland might have one more race left in him. He showed up in New Hampshire this week to gin up the crowd and remind them that not only is he still available for the job, but he’s got the silver bullet that will deliver the White House to them in 2020. It’s gun control! Amazing that none of the rest of the Democrats have thought of that, eh? (Free Beacon)
Former Maryland governor and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley said Tuesday that he was keeping an “open mind” about another presidential run and that he thinks gun control is a winning issue for Democrats up and down the ballot in 2020.
O’Malley addressed a crowd of business leaders at the “Politics & Eggs” series hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College. In his remarks, O’Malley laid out an optimistic vision for America’s future that was premised on embracing young voters to achieve progressive victories on immigration, gun control, and a bevy of other topics, according to the New Hampshire Journal.
I’m not going to fault O’Malley for keeping his chin up and being willing to put himself out there. Clearly, he feels a call to serve, just as he did in Maryland, and believes that with enough time to get to know him the voters may come around. But given the current state of affairs in the Democratic Party, no matter how solid his record may be (and he certainly checks all the standard boxes) nor how noble his intentions, is Martin O’Malley the guy that the Democratic base is looking for heading into the primary season?
The Democrats remain driven by demographics and identity politics. While O’Malley is certainly not old (he’ll be 57 in 2020) he’s not exactly young either. He’s also just about as white as you can get. And not to put too fine a point on it, but he’s got a Y-chromosome which may cause him some problems among a hard left base still stinging about the first female president not having graced the West Wing.
In some ways, you almost have to feel sorry for O’Malley if the Democrats effectively write him off without a look. He’s clearly been a loyal soldier for the party and stayed on message. He was out in front of the whole gay marriage and minimum wage things early on. And he made it through tenures in both the legislative and executive branches of state government. He was elected to multiple terms as the Mayor of Baltimore as a white guy, a feat which many thought impossible at the time. And he served in both that office and as Governor of Maryland with virtually no scandals following him around. (Also an impressive feat given the history of Baltimore.)
But I’m afraid the Democratic Party has moved on since then and people like O’Malley have a tough row to hoe if they’re seeking the nomination in the next cycle. Still, he was always at least mildly entertaining in the debates last time so we have that to look forward to.