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Martin O'Malley For President? What Do You Know About Him?

Hillary Clinton aside, the big talk for the 2016 presidential election is centered around Martin O’Malley, the Democratic governor of Maryland. What do Democratic voters know about him, though?

O’Malley gave a speech at last years Democratic national convention, praising Barack Obama. It was an acceptable speech, but not particularly great in any way. It didn’t surprise anybody with new insights, or facts, or ways of communicating ideas. Still, O’Malley seemed nice enough.

omalley president 2016“Swiss bank accounts never built an American bridge. Swiss bank accounts don’t put cops on the beat or teachers in our classrooms. Swiss bank accounts never created American jobs. We are Americans. We must act like Americans. We must move forward, not back,” O’Malley said. “There is a powerful truth at the heart of the American dream: The stronger we make our country, the more she gives back to us, to our children and grandchildren.”

Okay enough with the platitudes. Let’s get to the specifics. What has Martin O’Malley actually stood for?

Martin O’Malley began his political career as an aide to Senator Barbara Mikulski, a middle-of-the-road Democrat who is neither very liberal nor very conservative on the whole. O’Malley then moved on to the Baltimore City Council before being elected mayor of the city. He was first elected Governor in 2006, and again in 2010.

Governor O’Malley has not responded to Project Vote Smart requests for his positions on key political issues. However, O’Malley’s position on gun issues is made fairly clear by his grade from the National Rifle Association: An F.

As Governor, O’Malley has refused to include Maryland in the federal health care reform exchange program, setting up a health-care exchange system that is unique to Maryland itself.

o'malley 2016 campaign pinEnvironmental groups have expressed concerns that the Shale Advisory Commission set up by O’Malley is biased in favor of companies intent on beginning fracking for natural gas in Maryland. “Despite citizen concerns and warnings from independent scientists and public health officials about the negative impacts of fracking, our state government seems intent on finding rationales for issuing permits,” says local environmental group Patuxent Riverkeeper. “The Governor’s own task force echoes those same concerns, yet inexplicably presumes that fracking should happen in Maryland.” On the other hand, O’Malley has supported an increase in gasoline taxes. On climate change, O’Malley opposes regulations, and favors a scheme for businesses to trade government permissions to continue polluting the air.

On social issues, O’Malley supports funding for abortions, supports equal marriage rights regardless of sexual orientation, and opposes efforts to drain public school budgets to provide government money to private schools.

Most recently, O’Malley has signed legislation approving the expansion of gambling in Maryland, another bill expanding wind farms.

This is just a preliminary sketch of Martin O’Malley’s political identity, of course. What else do you know about Martin O’Malley? What have you concluded about his worth as a potential candidate for President of the United States? Why do you think some Democrats are eager for O’Malley to run for President in 2016?

5 thoughts on “Martin O'Malley For President? What Do You Know About Him?”

  1. Dave says:

    O’Malley may not have the baggage that some Dem possibles are dragging around and of course that is in his favor. Second ammendment issues will continue to be an albatross around the neck of Dems in national races that will benefit them little, and wise politicians probably should recognise the futility of that dogfight. “Oppos[ing] efforts to drain public school budgets to provide government money to private schools” I think will be a loser by the time presidential elections are here again, as taking that stand against charter schools and school vouchers is increasingly viewed by the public as holding on to the past. People have signaled for two election cylces that they want change, and that is not change. O’Malley seems to be a status quo politician who, although he may be able to make Clinton look so “yesterday,” may have a difficult time making his own self look “not yesterday.”

    1. J. Clifford says:

      Dave, regarding guns, what do you make of the poll results released yesterday that show that members of the Senate who voted against background checks had their approval ratings go down afterwards?

      It looks like the albatross may go the other way, with a stigma of gun-nuttiness.

      1. Dave says:

        Well, J., I think albatross will be apt if O’Malley goes full Nanny Bloomberg on an issue that, according to a recent Gallup poll is only “most important issue” with 4 percent of those polled. Appears the economy, budget deficit and unemployment far outstrip gun control as a concern for most people.

        1. Dave says:

          “Concern for most people” according to the poll, that is.

  2. Joshua Budden says:

    “O’Malley’s position on gun issues is made fairly clear by his grade from the National Rifle Association: An F. ”

    The NRA rating says very little. Obama managed to get an F from them while simultaniously getting an F from the Brady Center.

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