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.
“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.
Environmental 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?