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Tue Apr 21, 2015, 01:16 PM

 

Martin O'Malley's Mom, Upbringing Helped Shape His Political Future


photo by David Colwell


"The two things in our household that we'd never dream of skipping were an election and Mass," says Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who attended a rally for former Democratic Presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey with his mother when he was just two. "My mother taught us that the only thing wrong with politics is that not enough good people get involved."

The rich political environment of the O'Malley household—late father Tom was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; mom Barbara was a National Committee Woman for the Young Democrats from Indiana—made a lasting impression on Baltimore's former mayor. "My parents raised us all to believe we could make a difference in this world and that we could help other people," he says.

Whatever his endeavors, Barbara, who now works as an aide to Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, has always offered her oldest son support, from encouraging him to run for student council in his middle school days to dragging the family to watch his early performances with his Celtic rock band. ("We would sit at separate tables to make it look like there was a crowd," she says with a laugh.) Her maternal support even extended to helping him get in some much-needed shut-eye on the bus during the last day of the 2006 election. "By that time in the campaign, you are utterly and totally depleted, and you want nothing but to sleep," says O'Malley. Knowing that his mother would never let him sleep through a stop, he felt comfortable enough to nap. And she knew just how to wake him: "The bus driver would click on Springsteen's 'Land of Hope and Dreams,' and mom would say, 'It's time to wake up!'" O'Malley recalls. Chuckles Barbara, "If I had just had a Bruce Springsteen record when he was little, it would have been a lot easier to wake him up."

read: http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/2009/5/thanks-mom



Barbara O’Malley looks down as Gov. O'Malley acknowledges his mother during his final State of the State address. Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post


The Maryland Democrat’s mother, Barbara O’Malley, has been working as a receptionist for Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and has become a staple of the Capitol Building, known for her acerbic wit and Spritz cookies, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The 87-year-old receptionist has worked for Mikulski for 27 years, starting just after her son worked on the veteran senator’s first successful Senate campaign in 1986.

In that time, Barbara O’Malley has become quite popular among Mikulski’s colleagues. “She’s so funny — and she’s tough,” former Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia told the Journal. “When she thinks the conversation has gone on too long, she goes, ‘Go to your office and do some work.’”

Barbara O’Malley said she was inspired to work for Mikulski in 1987 after she became the first Democratic woman elected in her own right. “It didn’t take too much urging,” the elder O’Malley told the Journal, “I thought, ‘Yay — a woman senator!’”

read: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/martin-omalley-mother-barbara-omalley-115018.html



(WSJ)

Mrs. O’Malley has greeted, trained, baked for and even scolded some of the hundreds of lawmakers and constituents who pass by her desk.

“I will sometimes run into U.S. senators who I’ve never met before, but they already know who my mom is,” said former Gov. O’Malley.

Statistically speaking, Mrs. O is an anomaly on Capitol Hill by virtue of both her age and longevity in a role that usually serves as a steppingstone for the 20-somethings who populate the place...

“She probably has the record for the longest tenure of any receptionist on Capitol Hill,” said Ivan Adler, a principal at the McCormick Group who specializes in recruiting congressional staffers to downtown lobbying shops. “It’s incredibly unusual because that is a starter position. Most people stay in there until they find the next step up and she’s never worried about that.”

Instead of moving up, Mrs. O’Malley has instead extended her influence out. She has trained generations of staffers, estimated at somewhere between 50 and 75 aides who are now dispersed among the hallways of Capitol Hill and offices of downtown Washington.

read: http://baltimorejewishlife.com/news/print.php?ARTICLE_ID=57186




Barbara O'Malley, wife of lawyer Tom O'Malley (died in 2006), was a stay-at-home mom for two girls, Bridget and Eileen, and then four boys, Martin, Patrick and the twins, Peter and Paul. They lived in a three-bedroom house in Bethesda, and then moved to a bigger one in Rockville when the younger kids arrived...

But she was also a Democrat from an early age -- a dyed-in-the-wool, loyal-to-the-death Democrat. "I can't imagine being a Republican," she says now.

Her political heroes were Adlai Stevenson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. (Her father once won $10 from Vice President Truman in a poker game.) She worked in a local congressional campaign before she was old enough to vote.

His mother was the one who talked him into running for student council president in the seventh grade, with slogans like "Rally, Rally Around O'Malley" and "Dial O for O'Malley."

And she even put up with the fact -- now here's a loving mother -- that Martin worked for a Republican in his first foray into politics. At age 7, he and his brother Patrick handed out brochures in support of James Gleason, a friend of their father's who was running for Montgomery County executive.

But take a tour of the O'Malleys' Rockville home and you understand why the Democratic party was in no danger of losing Martin to the opposition for long. Barbara O'Malley has hung the walls with antique campaign ribbons, her extensive collection of campaign buttons, and any number of political photographs. There are photos of John Kennedy, of herself and Adlai Stevenson, of her father standing near FDR and, more recently, of herself shaking hands with Al Gore at Senator Mikulski's office.

"I grew up with it," she says. "Politics was just something you talked about around the house."

read more: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2000-05-14/news/0005110185_1_martin-omalley-pale-blue-stay-at-home-mother



Martin O'Malley prom pic

For O'Malley, Jesuit Tradition of 'Man for Others' Guides Political Values

(Martin O'Malley) says that a value system based on his Catholic faith and honed by a Jesuit education at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C has been at the heart of his political career. He says he learned not merely to have faith in God and in his own ability to help others, but to act on his principles and risk failure.

Gonzaga, from which he graduated in 1981, put O'Malley in an urban setting that exposed him to homelessness and economic depredation. The school, O'Malley said, not only instituted a rigorous Jesuit academic culture, but tried to produce "men for others."

"I remember coming in from the suburbs and seeing the blight as we filed by lines of homeless people," O'Malley recalls. But it was in that environment where he says he learned from one of his mentors, the late Rev. Horace B. McKenna, S.J., what public service was all about.

McKenna, who served as a priest at a Gonzaga-affiliated church and founded a center for the needy in its basement, worked tirelessly to "give aid and comfort to the area's homeless," O'Malley said. If they had drug problems, he would "challenge them to take control of their lives" by stamping out their addictions.

But it wasn't from second hand experience where Gonzaga wanted its young men to learn to become good people. The school pushed students to reach out to the local community.

O'Malley enrolled in a seminar that split time between discussing issues of social justice inside the classroom and tutoring inner city children outside of it.

read more: http://somd.com/news/headlines/2006/4711.shtml



Martin O'Malley, Wife

A Politician Molded by Irish Rebels, Jesuit Ideals

His grandfathers were New Deal Democrats: one, a ward boss in Pittsburgh; the other, chairman of an Indiana congressional district. Growing up in Bethesda and Rockville, the third of six siblings, Martin O'Malley says he learned an ethos of political involvement from his parents, who first met at Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1954.

"You just don't sit there in passive silence when you can contribute some ideal," says his mother, Barbara O'Malley, a longtime Capitol Hill receptionist for Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.). Her husband, Tom O'Malley, who died in January, was a trial lawyer, "a modern-day Atticus Finch and a great man," Martin O'Malley says.

In his campaign, he cites the Jesuit ideal of being "a man for others," instilled in him at Gonzaga College High School, a few blocks north of the Capitol. While there, he also experienced an ethnic awakening that helped shape the public figure he is today.

Faith and persistence, O'Malley says. Consider Hugh O'Neill, the leader he admires most in Irish history, a 16th-century chieftain who fought a stubborn war of resistance against the English hundreds of years before the Republic of Ireland was at last born.

O'Malley wrote a paean to him and sang it with the band. Now, cruising along Interstate 95 in the SUV, the campaign day not yet over, he is reminded of the lyrics.

"But to those who would say such struggle was folly . . . one man backed his dreams up with action."

He smiles. "Great stuff, huh...?"

34 replies, 4486 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Martin O'Malley's Mom, Upbringing Helped Shape His Political Future (Original post)
bigtree Apr 2015 OP
Faux pas Apr 2015 #1
FSogol Apr 2015 #2
yeoman6987 Apr 2015 #3
tomm2thumbs Apr 2015 #11
yeoman6987 Apr 2015 #25
Laughing Mirror Apr 2015 #4
mmonk Apr 2015 #5
Octafish Apr 2015 #6
NBachers Apr 2015 #7
Omaha Steve Apr 2015 #8
CaliforniaPeggy Apr 2015 #9
Koinos Apr 2015 #10
tomm2thumbs Apr 2015 #12
snooper2 Apr 2015 #13
elleng Apr 2015 #14
Phlem Apr 2015 #15
renegade000 Apr 2015 #16
appalachiablue Apr 2015 #17
SoapBox Apr 2015 #18
elleng Apr 2015 #22
IcyPeas Apr 2015 #19
IronLionZion Apr 2015 #28
Scurrilous Apr 2015 #20
sabrina 1 Apr 2015 #21
Skidmore Apr 2015 #23
elleng Apr 2015 #24
Peregrine Took Apr 2015 #26
montanacowboy Apr 2015 #27
bigtree Apr 2015 #29
LineNew Reply .
bigtree Apr 2015 #30
WorseBeforeBetter Apr 2015 #31
bigtree Apr 2015 #32
WorseBeforeBetter Apr 2015 #33
Raine1967 Jun 2015 #34

Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 01:29 PM

1. Kickin'

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 01:36 PM

2. K & R. Thanks for posting. n/t

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 01:48 PM

3. Uh oh. Worked for a Republican campaign at age 7...disqualified!

 

Lol. His Mom is awesome. So proud of my former Governor.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:36 PM

11. hahahahah -- guess you have to touch the iron to know the actual pain involved


LOL better at 7 when fingers can heal quick

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 04:43 PM

25. So true.

 

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 01:51 PM

4. My mother, age 87, works as a receptionist

for Senator Mikulski, and has been for the past 27 years.

O'Malley probably has never said this. But what other presidential candidate could?

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 01:54 PM

5. Thanks again bigtree.

Keep 'em rolling.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 02:36 PM

6. Thanks, bigtree!

The more I hear about O'Malley, the more I like him.

What's that saying about telling what a man is like by the way he treats his mother?

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:07 PM

7. Thanks- this is my first real introduction to Martin O'Malley.

I'd had a decent impression of him, but never really knew much about him. This helps to let me know who he is, and what he's about. I like the guy.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:09 PM

8. Great post


K&R!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:21 PM

9. Thanks for this great post, my dear bigtree!

The more I read about Gov. O'Malley, the better I like him.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:30 PM

10. Thank you, bigtree!

Great background for understanding the man!

It goes against my usual pessimism about politics, but I really like this guy!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:38 PM

12. thanks BigTree - a great read


Slow and steady on that ship -- it's a long voyage and looking forward to a good discussions through the primaries

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:39 PM

13. K&R - thanks

 

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:42 PM

14. Thanks, bigtree.

Great story and pics, and reminds me of Joe Biden!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:46 PM

15. K&R!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:52 PM

16. Yes! I want to learn more about our potential candidates!

Instead of just hearing reason #891282 why Clinton is "teh suck."

His upbringing reminds me a bit of Biden's. Fortunately for him, he's had a little less personal tragedy. Thanks for the links!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:52 PM

17. K & R. Thanks for the great post with history, background and photos. Well done.

I was a Maryland resident twice & have family with deep ties to the state.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:56 PM

18. Thank you bigtree.

More, more, more...

I want to know more about this guy...and his potential...and if he is a serious candidate that can win because I need a candidate that I want to work for/donate to.

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #18)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 04:15 PM

22. There's info here, SoapBox,

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 03:59 PM

19. I want to hear him in his Celtic rock band. where's the video? /nt

nice article.

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Response to IcyPeas (Reply #19)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 05:05 PM

28. Search Youtube for O'Malley's march


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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 04:00 PM

20. Thanks.

K & R

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 04:06 PM

21. Thanks for all this information, bigtree. Mostly I like what he has

said, so far, on some major issues.

I hope he gets into the race soon so we can have some real debate on issues.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 04:25 PM

23. On The Issues

A summary of hid positions and work.

http://www.ontheissues.org/Martin_O%60Malley.htm

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 04:37 PM

24. Thanks for this On the Issues about MOM, Skidmore.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 04:48 PM

26. Thanks - wonderful articles. I sent them around to my rethug Irish Am relatives.

Who knows? Maybe they will open their eyes

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 04:51 PM

27. More I read about him the more I like him

He has the great makings

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 06:25 PM

29. kick

 

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 09:10 PM

30. .

 

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 10:21 PM

31. I miss Maryland.

I really enjoyed reading that... thanks for posting!

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Response to WorseBeforeBetter (Reply #31)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 07:29 AM

32. it is a wonderful state; from the eastern shore to the hills of western Md.

 

...I grew up in Bethesda, just a few years older than Mr. O'Malley, very close to where he was raised.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #32)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:56 PM

33. My family moved from SW PA...

to good ol' PG County. I was there about 15 years, then *discovered* Arlington after college. I need a fix... Riva Road and CRABS! Historic Frederick. Baltimore. Good times.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 04:34 PM

34. KICK!

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