As media attention for the 2016 presidential election builds, we hear the names of candidates come up again and again: Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and many more.
There’s the Republican primary field, with around a dozen candidates, all whom have widely ranging political experience and policy views. The Democratic field has only three contenders. Clinton is leading the pack with about 54.5% of the vote, and the passionate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has around 33.5% of the vote. The third Democratic candidate is Gov. Martin O’Malley, who has around 2.8% of the vote. (RealClearPolitics)
O’Malley was the governor of Maryland, and before that, the mayor of Baltimore. As mayor, O’Malley found great success with a program called CitiStat that helped track crime while saving around $350 million for the city. Among his other accomplishments, O’Malley received praise from Esquire, Time, and Business Week, labeled as “The Best Young Mayor in the Country,” a “Top 5 Big City Mayor,” and a “Rising Star in the Democratic Party.”As governor, O’Malley instituted a similar program to CitiStat—StateStat. O’Malley signed bills that banned capital punishment, instituted gun control, closed a “notoriously violent” prison and allowed same-sex marriage. He was Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, as well as the lead singer in O’Malley’s March, a Celtic rock band.
So why isn’t O’Malley 2016 a common cry?
O’Malley hasn’t received a lot of media attention—his name recognition hovers around 4%, compared to Clinton’s 95%. Some liberals feel that the governor doesn’t have a strong enough resume. Secretary Clinton is very well established in the political field, first as an active first lady, then as a senator, and finally as a secretary of state. No matter your political leanings, you can’t deny her campaign and foreign policy experience. Or consider Sanders, who has been in politics since the 1970s. O’Malley’s mayor-ship of Baltimore might be hurting him, as his city has been in the news recently with citizen turmoil. Though O’Malley claims that he reduced violent crime by 37%, many people doubt this statistic. His favorability is 2%, according to Gallup.
In his closing address for the Democratic debate, O’Malley offered these words: “I truly believe we are standing on the threshold on a new era of American progress. Talk to our young people under 30… we need to speak to the goodness within our country.” No matter who becomes president, O’Malley is indisputably right when he argues that we, the young people, are the drivers of this progress.