WHY IS THIS MAN IN A (LOST) RACE FOR PRESIDENT (STILL)?
O’Malley’s fascination with political success probably began when he was still in his early thirties. In 1986, O’Malley was appointed State Field Director of the ‘Barbara Mikulski for Senate’ campaign. Senator Mikulski has held office ever since that time. In 1987, he worked as the National Field Director on the ‘Gary Hart for President 1988’ presidential campaign.
Democrat Martin O’Malley was born on January 18, 1963, in Washington D.C. He was brought up in Rockville, Maryland – and was greatly influenced by his parents who instilled in him the importance of public service. O’Malley father, Thomas, served as an Air Force bombardier in World War II, and his mother worked in Congress for about 30 years. Presently, she serves on the staff of the first female United States Senator, Barbara Mikulski.
O’Malley’s economy-focused political initiatives
After marrying Katie Curran in 1990, he was elected to his first of two terms in the Baltimore City Council, in 1991. In 1999, O’Malley ran for the office of Baltimore, Maryland Mayor, promising to transform the notorious city. His campaign promised to reduce crime, improve schools and rebuild broken communities. O’Malley won a staggering 90 percent of the vote. During his tenure, which lasted for about seven years, O’Malley delivered considerably on his campaign promises. He spearheaded the drastic reduction of crime and violence in the Baltimore, and in 2002 signed Maryland’s first anti-transgender discrimination law. In 2006, O’Malley attained the city’s first budget surplus in decades and struck down property taxes to the lowest level in 30 years. In line with this stellar track record, in 2006 O’Malley won 53 percent of the vote to be elected Governor of Maryland. During his term, O’Malley undertook initiatives to combat climate change, an issue that was affecting Maryland’s coastal communities. The state also regained 100 percent of the jobs that were lost during the national recession.
At a candidate forum in South Carolina in November 2015, O’Malley said, “Our economy isn’t money, it’s people. A strong middle class is the cause of economic growth.” It is no wonder that in 2014, the Governor increased Maryland’s minimum wage for most workers to $10.10, and the state’s high school graduation rate rose from 82% to 86% between 2010 and 2014.
Martin O’Malley is now vying for the Democrat 2016 presidential nomination, and is surely leaving no stone unturned to achieve that. He officially declared his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on May 30 2015, in Baltimore.
O’Malley served as Maryland’s 61st Governor from 2007 to 2015, after having worked as Mayor of Baltimore until 2007. O’Malley’s political intentions have been quite ambitious for several years now. In 2007, as he filled in for Hilary Clinton at a Democratic convention, he dexterously spoke about issues like universal health care and President Bush’s approach to foreign policy. This prompted many to believe that O’Malley was making a conscious attempt to develop a network amongst political elites. In fact, then said House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell even said, “It’s the worst-kept secret in Maryland that the governor has national ambitions.” It comes as no surprise that O’Malley is competing for the prized presidential nomination this year.
Does O’Malley stand a chance against other candidates?
It was in 2013 that O’Malley first announced his preparation for a presidential run, claiming he was laying the necessary ‘framework’ for it. However, he did not mention whether the decision was influenced by Hillary Clinton, who would in fact, become his greatest rival. He even claimed his decision would remain unchanged even if Hillary Clinton decided to contend for presidential nomination herself. In a February interview, O’Malley said, “I can’t really control what decisions other people make, whether or not they run, and even if I knew, I don’t think it would change what I have to do this year, which is to govern well, always learn, become better prepared, and most important, deliver results for the people you’re serving.”
According to a recent Washington Post-University of Maryland poll, O’Malley has garnered only 4 percent of votes from his home state of Maryland, trailing far behind Hillary Clinton’s 43 percent.
This presents an interesting question: what drives Martin O’Malley to compete against Hillary Clinton, when it seems like everyone already knows how this competition is going to end?
O’Malley’s close friend and political aide Steve Kearney shares his opinion, “There’s always been a battle between the Martin I know and the dry, clinical policy guy he can often be. We’ve had many, many discussions about it. The thing about him running for president is this is the real Martin. He’s having more fun than anyone else.”
It’s probably O’Malley’s fantasy of attaining the pinnacle of his political career which keeps him going. For this, he wasn’t simply laying the ‘framework’ since 2013, but rather since 2007.
The charm of holding the country’s most powerful political position is probably what drives O’Malley to take on a competitor who enjoys the privileges of excellent connections.
However, the former Maryland governor’s finances are struggling to keep up. O’Malley was able to raise only meager funds for his campaign, and eventually accepted public matching funds, which enable him to sustain his campaign for slightly longer. However, accepting this financial assistance has seriously impacted his ability to compete once the voting begins. As experienced Democratic operative Joe Trippi explains O’Malley’s financial dilemma, “You die now or die later. Either way, it’s not going to end well.”
O’Malley is chasing a political dream which he has been nurturing since nearly a decade, and the 2016 presidential nomination will now decide his fate.