Is Martin O’Malley Planning a Comeback?

Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign went down in absolute flames and just about everybody was happy about it. But his activity in recent weeks has been curious for somebody who was so thoroughly bludgeoned during the primary season and saw his #2 go down in flames riding his coattails in 2014. And I’m not talking about the return of his fourth-rate Irish “rock” band.

First came O’Malley’s tweet of June 2nd which hilariously accused Governor Larry Hogan of “ugly politics”.

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You can’t make this stuff up folks. Especially when you remember that our nearly 10-years of Martin O’Malley files talk about all sorts of ugliness when it comes from the mouth of the guy who tried to lied, cheat, and steal his way into the White House.

He followed that up with a bizarre op-ed in the Baltimore Sun which he titled with his usual mantra “Progress is a Choice.” Albeit a choice he never makes.

The op-ed seems mainly an attack aimed at Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and, of course, Governor Larry Hogan:

For all of the hand-wringing that there is “nothing we can do about it,” the truth is, actually, we can. We did. And we must again.

So what has changed more recently? Quite a few things in truth. And none of them were for the better when it comes to reducing crime.

Sadly in government there are often just two speeds — “on” and “off.” And many things over the last couple of years have been turned off. Some of them are things our city government and our police department used to do. Some of them are things our state and its agencies used to do.

O’Malley, incidentally, isn’t wrong about all of his suggestions, particularly when it comes to reverse integrity stings. But the galling thing about his piece comes toward the closing paragraphs;

All of us as Americans have inherited a legacy that we must acknowledge and address. It is the legacy of slavery — a legacy that has been intertwined with racial injustice and law enforcement from the first days of our country’s colonization and founding.

That’s a pretty asinine thing to say from the Mayor who locked up more young African-Americans than any mayor in Baltimore history, and oversaw continual achievement gaps for minority and low-income students.

The point of this is to not draw attention to Martin O’Malley’s feeble attempts to defend “progressivism.” It’s to draw attention to O’Malley’s re-entry into Maryland’s political arena.

If you look at Martin O’Malley’s social media timeline, you’ll see that the only mentions of Maryland politics in recent months beyond his tweet about Governor Hogan and his op-ed were around the Maryland primary and his congratulations to Chris Van Hollen and Anthony Brown after their primary wins. Now, O’Malley has begun to focus so slightly more on Maryland politics. It’s understandable; O’Malley flamed out as a Presidential candidate, has no chance of being Vice-President, and may have already talked himself out of a cabinet spot.  However, he still remains the last elected Governor from a Maryland Democratic Party that finds itself in disarray. And that puts him into a position of leadership that other former Democratic Governors usually do not have. Even ones that do, such as Parris Glendening, tend to focus on the policy and not the politics.

So what is Martin O’Malley doing? It’s very clear that he is attempting to rehabilitate his image in Maryland so he can run for office here again. Maybe he will follow in the footsteps of Theodore McKeldin who returned to serve as Mayor of Baltimore after his time as Governor. Maybe he thinks Ben Cardin is going to retire in 2018 and wants to position himself for that. Maybe, just maybe, he seems a vacuum in the Democratic field for Governor and is thinking about running for that office again. But either way, Martin O’Malley seems to be setting out to try to make everybody forget how much of a disaster he was as Governor. Time will tell not only what his plan is, but whether or not he can overcome his bad poll numbers and the wildly unpopular policies he implemented as Governor…..

….though I think we’d all love to see Governor Hogan beat him in November of 2018. That would be a lot of fun.

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