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Eye On Candidates
March 20, 2015

O’Malley Seeks to be Leading non-Clinton Dem Candidate

It’s pretty much a certainty that someone will eventually emerge as the leading alternative to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic nomination process. Although it’s still too early to know who that is, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley seems to be positioning himself fairly well to be that alternative, as today’s Washington Post article makes clear:

Martin O’Malley hopes years of political investment in Iowa pay off

Over the past two years, as Martin O’Malley has mulled a run for president, he has poured hefty resources into Iowa, appearing at 24 campaign events and fundraisers, lending 14 staffers to Democratic candidates and the state party, and donating more than $40,000.

On Friday, the former Maryland governor returns to the home of the nation’s first presidential caucuses for the first time since last fall’s election, hoping to start reaping the reward of that investment.

Remarkably, as the 2016 presidential race launches in earnest, very few of the candidates and party leaders O’Malley helped in Iowa have committed — to him, to presumed front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton or to anyone else. Many of these Democrats say it is too early to decide whom they will support, creating hope for the long shot from Maryland but also leaving it unclear whether his considerable efforts will generate anything more than goodwill.

“He has a very difficult task ahead,” said Jack Hatch (D), who lost last fall’s gubernatorial race to incumbent Terry Branstad (R). “But for him to come out and campaign with us like he did showed he was more sophisticated than the others looking at running. Once Secretary Clinton gets in, people will want to know who the alternatives are, and I think Governor O’Malley will get a serious look…”

There are other potential challenger’s to Clinton of course, but O’Malley does seem to be further along than any of the others.