For well over a year, O’Malley has been quietly making the rounds to lay the groundwork for a ’16 campaign. But he’s been haunted by the imposing and unprecedented shadow cast by Clinton, whose poll numbers are stronger than any non-incumbent candidate for either party’s nomination has posted in the modern era. With the political world already treating Clinton as the presumed nominee, O’Malley has faced skepticism about his intentions. Won’t he ultimately stand down rather than wage a hopeless campaign? Or if he does go ahead and run, surely he’ll keep the gloves on, the better to position himself for a more attainable prize like, say, the vice presidency. Right?

But it’s now safe to say that’s not what’s going on here. O’Malley is, for all intents and purposes, already running, with a formal announcement probably a few months away. And he’s already made peace with the hard feelings this will engender in Clinton World and is under no illusions that running for the top job will in any way make him more attractive to Clinton as a No. 2. Minutes after O’Malley’s appearance on “This Week,” former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, a top adviser to the Ready for Hillary PAC, said on the same program, “Martin O’Malley, he’s a very nice guy, and I was thinking he might make a nice member of a President Clinton administration, so he better watch it.”