NH Now: The Challenges Facing Democratic Presidential Candidate, Martin O’Malley


Former governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley began his campaign on Saturday in his home state and continued it here in New Hampshire on Sunday with a bold statement for a Democrat candidate.

“The presidency is not a sacred crown to be passed between two royal families.”

To achieve his goal, strategists have described the tight rope walk that O’Malley must attempt. To move upward in the polls, he must attack frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, but not so hard that he alienates the Democrat base. Also, he needs to be somewhat critical of the Obama administration again without offending the base. At the same time, O’Malley needs to make himself known to the voters as a more vibrant alternative to the other Democrat candidates.

For instance, while discussing the economy, O’Malley praised the job growth which has occurred during the Obama administration, but he also pointed out the growing income inequality that has developed. O’Malley finds it disturbing that the CEO of Goldman Sachs recently said that he could be okay with either a Clinton or Bush presidency. He is critical of the way the people who caused the financial collapse which occurred seven years ago have thrived during that time. The former governor believes that the influence of big money has caused many Americans to feel alienated from their leaders, politics, and the government–an erosion of the truth of the American Dream. To turn the economy around, O’Malley would be in favor of the following actions: raise the minimum wage; bring about immigration reform; make it easier to join and form labor unions; and avoid unfavorable international trade deals.

The O’Malley approach to national defense also shows some individuality while staying true to progressive ideals. He would like to reduce nuclear weapons. That would include preventing Iran achieving membership in the nuclear club. O’Malley believes that there are major changes in our national security needs since the 1990s. For that reason, he favors substantial changes to the organization of our military. Emphasis should be placed on modernizing, concentrating more on rapid deployment forces rather than a standing army to face a conventional ground war, and developing better surveillance and intelligence gathering techniques.

Finally, he separates himself from his Democrat opponents by pointing out that unlike them, he has executive experience as mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland. He is proud of his ability to work with legislators from the opposition party.