A lot of attention has been focused on the Republican race to be the party’s nominee for the 2016 presidential election. Less attention has been paid to the events on the Democratic side because of what seems to be a media consensus that that nomination is Hillary Clinton’s for the taking and until such time as she announces that she is not interested in running, there is no point talking about it.
I am not so sure about this conventional wisdom. Apart from my own unease at the possibility of her candidacy, it is not clear to me that she has such a clear shot to the nomination and so it might be good to see what the alternatives are. One such person is Martin O’Malley. After serving two terms as mayor of Baltimore, he was elected governor of Maryland in 2006 and was easily re-elected in 2010, defying the Republican electoral tide that year. He is prevented by term limits from running again and thus leaves office in January 2015. He is expected to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.
His political views are liberal and pretty decent. Although a Catholic, he defied a request from the archbishop of Baltimore to oppose same-sex marriage. He is an opponent of capital punishment and signed a bill that repealed the death penalty in Maryland for all future capital crimes and has said that he will consider commuting to life imprisonment the sentences of the five death penalty inmates already on death row.
He appeared last week on the Sunday talk shows and you can gauge him for yourself as he talks about Republican ideas to cut programs that help the poor.
Here’s more from the same interview.
So while he says many of the right things, we have seen so many times before with liberal Democrats as presidents that the way they campaign and the way they govern can be quite different, so we need to treat him with caution.