Meet the candidate: Martin O’Malley

In last week’s “Meet the Candidate” section, The Yellow Jacket focused in on Louisiana Governor and stout Republican, Bobby Jindal. Now, we will take a look at former Maryland Governor and passionate Democrat, Martin O’Malley. O’Malley has been a loyalist for the Democratic Party, whose ideals align almost perfectly with the liberal agenda of his entire political career. Crowd Pac ranked him in a recent poll as the second most liberal candidate in the race, scoring a 6.7 on a scale of 10.

He has served as chair for the Democratic Governors Association, and also signed two laws into effect in 2011 and 2012 which assured that illegal immigrants brought into the United States as children would be eligible for in-state tuition and that same-sex couples in Maryland would be eligible for marriage licenses.

His presidential race began in May 2015 when he became the 3rd Democratic candidate to declare his run for the presidency. Since then, according to a New York Times article, O’Malley “campaigned for more than 150 Democratic candidates” and has “visited Iowa four times since last June.”

As the son of an Air Force pilot and a Congressional staff worker, public policy has always surrounded O’Malley. He started his political career as a city counselor which then led him to become the Mayor of Baltimore and eventually state governor. His platform is “Rebuilding the American Dream,” and O’Malley plans to appeal very strongly to his middle class constituents.

As mayor of Baltimore, O’Malley achieved one of the highest crime reduction rates of all large American cities, and he implemented “Citi Stat,” a function to track how effectively the people of Baltimore are being governed. Additionally, while serving as governor, the Maryland population recovered 100% of the jobs lost during the recession, and large investments were made for affordable education, healthcare, and public safety.

O’Malley is a strong advocate for environmental conservatism and he abolished the death penalty in Maryland. As President, O’Malley is cited as saying he would fight for a higher minimum wage to ensure wealth distribution, and that he would allow people to actually live off of what they earn. He wants more regulations and responsibilities to fall on Wall Street, and he wants to modernize high school curriculums to prepare students to enter college and leave with the capabilities of earning high-paying, highly skilled jobs. Additionally, he wants strict gun control and to cut the amount of gun related deaths in half within 10 years.

O’Malley will attempt to appeal to his female constituents with his vision that females should be compensated fairly for their work. In efforts to appeal to the African-American population and the senior citizen constituency, he hopes to end the cycle of poverty with programs like the “Earned Income Tax Credit” program, as well as expanded Social Security benefits.

O’Malley wants to bring back citizen funded elections, and aims to create an in-creased national security through a stronger economy. He wants to launch economy driven job creation agendas, more immigration inform, and wants to ensure a transparent, high-performing, and highly accountable government.

Now, aside from what seems to be a legitimate and substantial run for the presidency that would most likely appeal to a large amount of American voters, why is O’Malley not being taken seriously? According to over five early polls taken by political databases, O’Malley has not eclipsed the 3% mark in any of them. He is widely seen as an extremely small competitor to party goliath, Hillary Clinton, as well as to emerging long time senator, Bernie Sanders. He is even losing to Vice President Joe Biden, who has not even yet declared his run for presidency.

So, why is O’Malley struggling? General consensus seems to be that the media frenzy that has come with the early stages of the 2016 race has played a major part. O’Malley’s policy issues and his success in his home state should clearly put him in the forefront of his party, especially given the circumstances. However, between the circus that is the Republican primary and its 17 competitors, and the scandalous media attention around Clinton, it is hard for any-one else to catch the spotlight. This is also a reflection of how much of an influence the media has over American voters and their political awareness.

It is primarily understood that, if given the chance, O’Malley would not fare well in the general election. He would largely fail to appeal to the more Conservative voters as he is almost perfectly aligned with the Liberal agenda. Plus, after slamming the Democratic National Committee for ‘rigging debates’ to suit competitor Clinton, his support in the Democratic party may be fleeting soon as well. Be on the lookout for O’Malley to spend a lot of his time in Iowa and New Hampshire in the coming months, and to work the early Democratic debates to try and gain ground on front runner Clinton.

O’Malley seems to be in a perplexing situation, given his numbers in the polls and his perfectly aligning policy beliefs to his party. Could an explanation possibly just be that he is somewhat of an unknown participant? Or is he TOO liberal for the Liberals? With all of the party’s funding, attention, and loyalty lying with the ‘White House royalty’ that is the Clinton family, look for the youthful O’Malley to slowly disintegrate out of primary conversation. However, also be alert for the possibility that his alliances and appearances within the Democratic Party increase in the coming years.

-Sean Ryan ’18, Junior Politics/Opinions Editor

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