Martin O’Malley has made a formal announcement that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president. He has long hinted that he would do so. When it comes to progressive policies, his lie somewhere in between those of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. His opening statement sounded some populist themes, including the key one of the growing wealth and income gap. He also targeted Clinton.
Speaking in rolled-up sleeves, O’Malley began with a call for economic fairness and closing the gap between rich and poor in America.
O’Malley also took a shot at Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, using an attack on Goldman Sachs to suggest they were too close to Wall Street to be advocates for the less fortunate in America.
“Recently, the CEO of Goldman Saches let his employees know that he’d be just fine with either Bush or Clinton. I bet he would,” O’Malley said. “Well, I’ve got news for the bullies of Wall Street: The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families. It is a sacred trust to be earned from the people of the United States, and exercised on behalf of the people of the United States.”
His website is here and his specific proposals can be read here. Much of it consists of the usual exhortations but the specific proposals (raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, breaking up the big banks, restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, maternity leave, paternity leave, equal pay, and opposing the reduction and privatization of Social Security benefits) are decent.
He did not call for a single payer health care system nor did he call for increasing the marginal tax rates on upper income brackets
While I much prefer Sanders, I could live with an O’Malley candidacy. They both suffer from the fact that the media has anointed Clinton as the presumptive nominee but they both have track records of being indefatigable campaigners who rarely, if ever, lose elections that they enter. So I am hoping that Sanders or O’Malley will be able to dethrone the oligarch-friendly Clinton, and if they both focus on the problem of the 0.1% dominating the country, they may be able to do that.