Gov. Martin “O’Malley’s entire life seems to be a prelude to a presidential campaign.” And yet, as the New York Times has pointed out, he has set himself for real trouble should former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton run — and how could he expect her not to?
The Times article paints a picture of O’Malley as a politician’s politician who charms occasionally but often exhibits a “blank gaze” and “inauthentic, almost hammy” gestures when addressing a crowd. One on one, the Times noted, “at times he maintains unblinking eye contact while speaking in whispered sentences with telepathic intensity.” I guess we’ll see how well “idiosyncratic” plays on the national stage!
But more of an obstacle — and more mystifying — than O’Malley’s occasionally uncanny affect, is his attempt to set up a run as a Clinton alternative while remaining a Clinton loyalist.
Here’s O’Malley on the differences between him and Clinton: “My mind is not even in the compare-contrast mode.”
Here he is on Clinton’s remarks that the thousands upon thousands of children crossing into the United States illegally should be returned to their countries of origin: “I wasn’t really focused on her or what she was saying.” (Let’s not forget he called out President Obama for wanting to send children right back “to the death squads from which they fled.”)
When an operative for his political action committee so much as mentioned Clinton’s name, he was promptly silenced with jab from O’Malley’s communications director.
If he keeps this up — and Clinton decides to run — we could be in for some very, very interesting Democratic primary debates. Just saying.