There is a truism in modern newsreporting that if you want to hide something you announce it late on Friday. If you want to really hide something, you announce it on the weekend. Weekend announcements are usually reserved for tax hikes, high unemployment numbers, mistress’s pregnancies and incidents in public restrooms.
Add Martin O’Malley‘s Presidential campaign to that list
Over the weekend, former Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley threw his hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination. Mr. O’Malley is banking on relationships built as a Gary Hart supporter, Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland to make him option.
Mr. O’Malley was a generally unremarkable Governor of a reliably Blue state. Even with that in hand, he was unable (some would say unwilling) to advance progressive causes in Maryland. Medical marijuana in Maryland is structured in such a way as to make it as difficult as possible for those who marijuana could help. Same sex marriage came well after other States. Gun control legislation in Maryland during Mr. O’Malley’s tenure might have satisfied the Extreme Left calls for intrusive regulation but mainstream America was calling for common sense gun control policies. Maryland’s gun laws are many things but no honest person would call them “common sense”.
Mr. O’Malley can’t win the nomination running as Hillary without the pantsuit
But that is his position. The Democratic nomination will be about whether Democrats are as liberal as the Radical Right claims they are. And the only way to show that is a contest between Mrs. Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Sen. Sanders has been placed in the role of wild-eyed, Liberal boogeyman.
Mrs. Clinton is the establishment candidate. She is the very embodiment of the DLC apparatchik: Pro-business, pro-war (because that is also pro-business), anti-regulation, and anti-welfare. She is for all of the things that Democrats that try to avoid scaring the few remaining moderate Republicans and true Independents need to do in this current political environment.
The problem is that Democrats are no longer for those things. Democrats have come to realize that 35 years of focusing on those issues may be part of the reason we are in our current mess. Mrs. Clinton is also pro-choice, pro-woman and pro-civil rights but those are the minimum requirements to get into the Democratic Club.
They aren’t differentiators
And it is differentiators that will win this game. Mr. O’Malley doesn’t have them. His best shot is to lobby hard for the VP spot with whoever comes out on top of this mess. I’m fairly certain that is his ultimate plan. He may even be looking at the ages of Mrs. Clinton (67) and Sen. Sanders (73) and thinking that in the event either of them actually won, they could be tempted to limit it to one term if they were assured of a worthy successor.
Cue Mr. O’Malley
Mr. O’Malley’s soft announcement is not the action of a man looking to shake up the world and announce himself as the best man to run it. It is much more in line with the actions of a man not looking to make waves or enemies. Actions designed not to offend or burn any bridges. The actions of a man looking for a second fiddle to play.
The actions of a Vice President
Hail to the – not quite – Chief?