Martin O’Malley, the former governor of my home state of Maryland (like me, he grew up in the Washington, DC, suburb of Montgomery County) and the former mayor of Baltimore, has become the second candidate (after Bernie Sanders) to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.
O’Malley was poised to fly to Iowa, the nation’s first presidential nominating state, after announcing his candidacy with a populist address that took jabs at Clinton, big banking and “ever-larger concentrations of corporate power.” He will visit New Hampshire on Sunday.
O’Malley said Saturday that “powerful, wealthy special interests here at home have used our government to create . . . an economy that is leaving a majority of our people behind.” He called for boosting the minimum wage, passing comprehensive immigration reform, combating climate change and breaking up big banks.
O’Malley told his sweating audience of a few hundred supporters that the chief executive officer of the investment bank Goldman Sachs recently “let his employees know that he’d be fine with either Bush or Clinton” in the White House.
“I bet he would,” O’Malley said, drawing some laughter from the crowd. “Well, I’ve got news for the bullies of Wall Street. The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth between two royal families. It is a sacred trust to be earned from the American people.”
He hasn’t been mayor of Baltimore since 2007, but the recent disturbances there, and the continuing fact of blight and poverty in large parts of the city, have drawn attention to his record– and how much as mayor he could actually achieve.
I don’t expect him to beat Clinton, but I’m glad he’s in the race, saying some things that need to be said.
And speaking of things that need to be said, here’s Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a recent conference in Silicon Valley: