Former Maryland Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley’s 2016 Presidential bid has failed to pick up steam.
If recent polls are to be believed, only 2% of Democratic voters believe O’Malley should be their party’s nominee.
O’Malley’s rivals, former Secretary of State of Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, are each polling 40 percent or above in both of those states.
To make matters worse, only 7 percent of Maryland voters support O’Malley’s candidacy.
In terms of endorsements, O’Malley has not faired much better. So far, only one member of Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA) has enthusiastically stepped forward.
After considering the aforementioned facts, it is incumbent to ask: Why hasn’t O’Malley dropped out of the race?
The answer is simple.
O’Malley’s gigantic ego and uninhibited ambition trumps all other considerations.
Unlike other former two-term Maryland governors such as Harry Hughes and Parris Glendenning, who left the political scene after their shelf life had expired, O’Malley insists on staying.
And aside from political hyperbole, which as of late largely consists of making every conceivable attempt to pander to illegal aliens-a designation he stridently rejects in favor of the more politically correct, yet blatantly misleading, “New Americans” classification, little else distinguishes O’Malley from Clinton and Sanders.
Unsurprisingly, O’Malley would likely disagree. The former governor gives the impression that he views his candidacy as authentic, wholly original, and the only responsible medium between Mrs. Clinton, whom he views as the stand-bearer for Wall Street, and openly avowed Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.
However, some Marylanders might argue the verdict is still out on whether O’Malley governed for eight years utilizing quasi-socialist economic policies. The 30,000 plus taxpayer exodus, which took place under his watch, could very well be a testament to that assertion, and the election of his successor, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan Jr., most certainly is.
But this piece is not an indictment of O’Malley’s eight years in Annapolis, which undoubtedly produced legislative victories that would rally the Democratic base: repeal of the death penalty, legalization of same-sex marriage, ultra-strict gun control measures etc.
Irrespective of those progressive credentials, Democrats are not paying much attention to O’Malley’s candidacy, and there is little evidence to suggest that will change two months from now. Moreover, several pundits have suggested O’Malley is really running for the number two slot on his party’s ticket-or a cabinet position-and could very well achieve that goal by the convention next summer. Others have speculated he is merely positioning himself for a run in 2020.
Lest all three scenarios fail, don’t be surprised if O’Malley continues to indefinitely seek residency on Pennsylvania Avenue. O’Malley’s self-obsession and insatiable appetite for political power and prestige will see him through any hardship. Perhaps that is why he declined a virtually guaranteed primary victory in the contest to succeed retiring Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski.
In short, O’Malley is like a houseguest who never leaves, even after the owners sell to another buyer.
Bryan is a freelance political journalist whose experience includes three and a half years covering Congress and two years covering Maryland state government.
His work includes coverage of the election of Donald Trump, the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and attorneys general William Barr and Jeff Sessions-as well as that of the Maryland General Assembly, Gov. Larry Hogan, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryan has broken stories involving athletic and sexual assault scandals with the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
His original UMBC investigation gained international attention, was featured in People Magazine and he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America” and local radio stations. Bryan broke subsequent stories documenting UMBC’s omission of a sexual assault on their daily crime log and a federal investigation related to the university’s handling of an alleged sexual assault.