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Sat May 30, 2015, 10:18 AM

NYTimes story, Martin O'Malley announces presidential campaign,

pushing Image of Vitality

BALTIMORE — In another campaign year, Martin O’Malley’s résumé and good looks might be irresistible to Democratic primary voters. He is a former big-city mayor whose story of renewal in Baltimore seemed well tailored to an increasingly urban and minority party. He is a former two-term governor of Maryland — and the lead singer and guitarist in a rock ’n’ roll band.

But Mr. O’Malley is running in an election cycle in which Democratic elected officials and donors have overwhelmingly focused attention on Hillary Rodham Clinton. And he already faces competition from Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont for the support of liberals who dislike Mrs. Clinton or merely want to see her pushed further to the left.

After a two-year exploratory phase, Mr. O’Malley, 52, on Saturday began to make a case for why Democrats should bet on him instead of on Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Sanders, who has captured early enthusiasm among progressives as an authentic populist.

“Today, the American dream seems for so many of us to be hanging by a thread,” he said in formally announcing his candidacy before hundreds of supporters under a baking sun in Federal Hill Park in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, with the towers of the city’s downtown behind him.

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“This is not the American dream,” he added. “It does not have to be this way. This generation of Americans still has time to become great. We must save our country now. And we will do that by rebuilding the dream.”

His aides say Mr. O’Malley is a true progressive, one who became involved early on the issue of same-sex marriage, and a scrappy underdog who takes to tough political fights. He staked out early ground on an immigration overhaul in 2014, accusing the Obama administration of heartlessness in deporting children who had crossed the border from Mexico.

But Mr. O’Malley was also a staunch supporter of Mrs. Clinton in her 2008 presidential campaign, and he rose to prominence as a tough-on-crime mayor in Baltimore, a city scarred by drugs and violence. In two years of travels to Iowa and New Hampshire, he has frequently been reluctant to discuss Mrs. Clinton or to draw a pointed contrast with her, doing so only obliquely — faulting unnamed politicians for “triangulation,” for example, a word associated with the Clintons’ up-the-middle political calculations since the 1990s.

It is also unclear whether Mr. O’Malley can aggressively raise funds without a devoted base of support, which Mr. Sanders can draw on, or a raft of major donors, which Mrs. Clinton enjoys. His aides have declined to say whether he has a single backer who would be willing to contribute millions of dollars to a “super PAC” to keep him afloat.

And Mrs. Clinton’s team is making inroads in Maryland: The state’s two senators, Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin, have already endorsed her.

Still, Mr. O’Malley’s team believes he fills a natural void in the Democratic primary, and Mrs. Clinton’s team acknowledges that a significant portion of the primary electorate is likely to favor someone else.

“Here you’ve got a clear generational divide, and a lot of Americans think about that,” said Gary Hart, a former Colorado senator and Democratic presidential candidate. “They are less inclined to divide themselves in the world between ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives,’ and more between the past and the future.”

That, Mr. Hart said, would give Mr. O’Malley an advantage.

And it is Mr. Hart’s come-from-behind candidacy in the 1984 Democratic primaries, which ultimately fell short, that has helped inform Mr. O’Malley’s thinking about his own race.

Mr. O’Malley, who grew up in the Washington suburbs, took time off from Catholic University to work on Mr. Hart’s campaign that year. He later moved to Baltimore, married into a political family, became a city councilman and won the first of two terms as mayor in 1999 in a crowded field. He was credited with a crackdown on crime and on drugs.

He went on to win two terms as governor of Maryland, with his star still rising. He was often described as a results-oriented policy expert, whose successful push for a same-sex marriage referendum was well ahead of the curve of a national movement. He signed into law a bill raising the minimum wage, but he also presided over a disastrous rollout of a health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

In recent weeks, he returned to Baltimore to walk the streets after an unarmed black man died of injuries sustained while he was in police custody.

In the days before Saturday’s announcement, his advisers and allies shaped the race with generational contours, though aides to Mr. O’Malley insist they are not trying to play up Mrs. Clinton’s age (she is 67).

The contrast has been unmistakable, though: In a video released by his aides on Friday morning, Mr. O’Malley plucked a guitar (to the tune of “Hail to the Chief”) while the camera focused on his hands. And his aides have repeatedly used the word “old” — as in “old guard” or “old way of thinking” — in veiled references to Mrs. Clinton, something that has not been lost on her allies.

Mr. O’Malley’s team is still being formed. He has three deputy campaign managers, including Lis Smith, who has handled his communications for several years. His top consultant is Bill Hyers, who managed Bill de Blasio’s victory in the 2013 New York City mayor’s race.

But he still had not announced a campaign manager when he took the stage on Saturday.


(SORRY NYT won't let me copy + paste small bits, so the whole story's here, with attribution.)

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Reply NYTimes story, Martin O'Malley announces presidential campaign, (Original post)
elleng May 2015 OP
merrily May 2015 #1
Koinos May 2015 #2
justhanginon May 2015 #3
elleng May 2015 #5
FSogol May 2015 #4

Response to elleng (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 10:21 AM

1. What a great day for O'Malley supporters! I am getting more and more excited

about what is shaping up to promise a very interesting primary.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 10:26 AM

2. Great Day Indeed

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 11:05 AM

3. I'll be anxious to hear more of what Mr. O'Malley's

stands are on the various issues important to moving this country forward in a fair and equitable manner for all it's citizens. Glad to see him enter the race and wish him well.

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Response to justhanginon (Reply #3)

Sat May 30, 2015, 01:55 PM

5. Here he is on the issues, justhanginon:

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 01:42 PM

4. Finally. K&R. n/t

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