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The Backup Plan

Martin O’Malley has been going out of his way to try and position himself as the Democrats backup plan to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Recently high-profile articles in the LA Times and Buzzfeed go aways toward helping O’Malley establish some credibility, particularly after several years of lagging in the 1-2% range among 2016 contenders.


Naturally of course, both articles skew more towards the imaginary fairytale that O’Malley and the Maryland Democratic Party has painted of our state instead of any actual realities:

“I think people are going to be surprised at the amount of time he does this,” Adamec said. “He’s got a powerful record of what he’s done in Baltimore and Maryland. I think it’s a liberating experience for him to just sort of say it.”

Adamec is correct in that the Governor does have a powerful record. Though it isn’t quite the record that he thinks it is. The O’Malley record, as we all know, is based on over 40 tax increases, numerous fee increases, gargantuan spending hikes, an inability to reduce crime in both the city and the state, staggering job losses, crony capitalism, and an assault on the Constitutional rights of Marylanders. So yeah, the record is powerful, in the way that it shows a blueprint of how not to govern.

People in the governor’s orbit say he’s now looking for what’s next — for new ideas on economic policy, on income inequality, and on problems like climate change. It’s a process O’Malley has described in recent interviews as “a lot of listening.”

It’s hard to say that O’Malley has ever subscribed to a “new” idea, given the fact that his economic policy has been a Keynesian fantasy, his solution to income inequality was to champion a wage hike that will cost jobs, and his solution to climate change was to hand out state dollars to politically connected investors in order to build wind farms. 

A more unlikely O’Malley backer is John P. Coale, the well-known Washington attorney and the husband of the Fox News anchor, Greta Van Susteren. 

The lawyer supports an odd cadre of politicians including Democrats and Republicans like Sarah Palin. He has known O’Malley for “a decade or two” and said he has “a lot of friends in the media I plan to sit him down with.” Coale backed Clinton in 2008, but said he’s “better friends” with the governor.

Buzzfeed conveniently glosses over the fact that Coale loaned O’Malley $500,000 to bail him out during his initial campaign for Governor.

Like many native to the information age, O’Malley is fluent in the language of entrepreneurship, multiplatforms and changing technologies. His numbers-crunching success fighting crime, cleaning Chesapeake Bay and shaping up Maryland’s bureaucracy could be a model for the federal government, he says, though it may be a challenge translating that into a resonant rallying cry: At times O’Malley can sound like a walking PowerPoint slide, holding forth on “silos of human endeavor” and “a cadence of accountability.”

During his term though, none of that has translated into the reality. O’Malley has actively discouraged entrepreneurship through his tax hikes and regulatory regime. The Chesapeake Bay remains a grave environmental concern due to O’Malley’s unwillingness to clean up the Conowingo Dam. And crime rates remain stagnant or on the rise given the O’Malley Administration’s political gun grab.

At least the Times article included this nugget.

Should he run for president, O’Malley’s job performance, starting in 1991 as a member of the Baltimore City Council, would obviously be examined in great detail. A corruption, sex and drug scandal in Baltimore’s city jail, which festered when he was governor, is a particularly troublesome part of the O’Malley record. More recently, his claims to competence have been undercut by Maryland’s troubled Obamacare exchange, which failed at an estimated cost of well over $100 million.

And oh, what a troubled record it is. And we look forward to sharing that record with our friends in Iowa, New Hampshire, and beyond.






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