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Wed Dec 7, 2016, 10:33 PM

Martin OMalley: The Faithful Politician

'It’s no secret that progressives are more than a little squeamish when it comes to religion. Since the rise of the Religious Right in the late 1900’s, an appeal to a candidate’s faith has been seen as a tactic of staunch conservatives and has been treated by progressives as unhelpful at best, harmful at worst. Yet, in spite of this “fear of faith” embodied by many progressives, polling consistently shows that America is still a very religious nation and our people desire leaders who understand and root their principles in a foundation of faith. As I argued in an article earlier this year, if religious progressives did not get over their opposition to religion and begin to unabashedly speak of how their faith informs their values, we would lose the interest and trust of a large number of Americans in the election- a reality that has since been confirmed by post-election polling.

However, early on in the election cycle a fresh voice rose to the surface within the Democratic Party whose optimism captivated many progressives across the nation. On May 30, 2015 the former Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, stood on Federal Hill in Baltimore and announced the beginning of his bid for the presidency of the United States. Speaking under the banner of his freshly minted campaign slogan, O’Malley called for “new leadership” within the DNC and the nation as a whole. O’Malley’s campaign hit the ground running, but struggled to gain significant support from Democrats across the country. After a short but well fought run for the Democratic nomination, O’Malley officially dropped out of the race in February 2016, throwing his support behind the presumed nominee, Hillary Clinton. Though 2016 was clearly not the year for O’Malley to become the Democratic nominee for President, his campaign introduced his name, perspective, and persona to the American people for the first time on a broad scale, setting the former Governor up for potential future success in national politics.

No matter what your political or religious affiliation, Governor O’Malley is a captivating figure, known for being incredibly down to earth, yet carrying with him an energy and enthusiasm that is not easily matched in Washington. But where do such hope, humility, and optimism come from for a person like Governor O’Malley? The answer is quite simple and yet perhaps unexpected - his faith. . .

I recently met up with Governor O’Malley in Washington to talk about his faith, the election of Donald Trump, and the future of our nation. O’Malley walked into Starbucks at the end of a long workday with his usual electrifying presence, “Good to see you, Reverend” he said, as he shook my hand and sat down. After making small talk, I jumped right in and asked the Governor about the recent rumors that he was considering a run for DNC chair. O’Malley looked at me and said, “Brandan, I’m just not sure that being the DNC chair is the best use of my talents and energies right now. Our country is in a pivotal moment, and after praying and reflecting for a week, I just think it’s best that I focus my attention elsewhere.”

He then went on to make about six biblical references regarding the current moment our nation was in and why it was so essential that Americans come together to overcome the “fascist regime” of President-Elect Donald Trump. Laughing at the quirky display of his biblical literacy, I went on to tell the Governor about how I’ve long admired his ability to ground his principles and his policies in his Catholic faith, and asked him when religion became so important to him. “I grew up in a family of nuns and priests and went to great Catholic schools, so in a way, the theology was ingrained into my being” he said. “But my faith became incredibly palpable for me during the end of my first year as Governor. After a hard-fought campaign and really grueling but productive first year, I went through a period of feeling very burned-out. What, I suppose, St. John of the Cross would call, “a dark night of the soul.” I began reading different spiritual writings from people like Reinhold Niebuhr, Fr. Richard Rohr, and Thomas Merton as a way to ground myself, and I really was so profoundly impacted by their vision of justice and progress.”'>>>


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Reply Martin OMalley: The Faithful Politician (Original post)
elleng Dec 2016 OP
Raine1967 Dec 2016 #1
CrispyQ Dec 2016 #2

Response to elleng (Original post)

Wed Dec 7, 2016, 10:54 PM

1. the part that I know my fellow Mo'Ms understand and understood:

At the end of our time, Governor O’Malley looked me in the eye and thanked me for my time. We shook hands and he was off to yet another event for the evening. As I walked out of the coffee shop that evening, I was deeply encouraged. I felt as if I had just encountered the kind of politician that I never believed possible, one who deeply embraces their faith and is boldly committed to demonstrating how it propels them to act for justice and progress. Governor Martin O’Malley is the kind of politician that our nation needs at a moment such of this. One with fierce commitment to integrity and justice, the humility to learn and listen to the least of these, and the boldness and bravery to fight for the future their heart believes is possible. O’Malley demonstrates that for progressives, faith and politics don’t have to be separate, but in fact, are powerful partners that can bring people from all walks of life together for the common good of our nation.

I am not angry at how things turned out, I just wish we had a better chance.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Thu Dec 8, 2016, 09:26 AM

2. Great article!

I sure hope we see more of this man on the national stage!

...known for being incredibly down to earth, yet carrying with him an energy and enthusiasm...

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