In 2012, our high-profile governor consistently denied that he was considering a run for president in 2016, and we consistently refused to believe him. Here are the nine (yeah, nine, sue me) Baltimore Fishbowl stories that make our case, in chronological order.
Way back in January, when the Republican primary race was anything but decided (and when a very vocal minority of Republicans was almost in fits over the possibility of being stuck with then front runner Mitt Romney), O’Malley got involved in the GOP horse racem when he traveled to Myrtle Beach to bash Romney a little bit in anticipation of South Carolina’s primary vote.
Then, in February, we had the New York Times naming of him as a 2016 Democratic contender, alongside New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Soon after O’Malley was pay some his surrogate dues, defending President Obama and taking shots at Republican hopefuls on Bob Schieffer’s Face the Nation.
In April, O’Malley held a press conference to deny any presidential ambitions, which is about as much evidence to the contrary as one needs.
I wouldn’t say his appearance in the New York Post‘s gossip column was particularly presidential — he was spotted dining with actor Josh Charles and gay rights activist Brian Ellner as he redoubled efforts to pass a marriage equality bill in the General Assembly — but it sure was profile-raising.
August saw O’Malley return to his role of partisan attack dog on Meet the Press, doing damage control after Vice President Joe Biden’s tasteless “put y’all back in chains” comment.
Then came the moment O’Malley might have hoped would anoint him: his convention speech. He was energetic and to the point — but too excited and smiley. Thankfully, he was followed by an even more wide-eyed and grinning speech by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, which retroactively granted O’Malley some gravitas.
Later in the same month, O’Malley took a quick trip to Iowa to eat some mac and cheese and tell some registered Democrats about his biography and policy profile.
And finally, when superstorm Sandy threatened to bring carnage to Maryland just before Halloween, O’Malley seized the opportunity for grandstanding, in the form of a little preemptive angst at Pepco. In sanitized-tough-guy-ese O’Malley assured us, “We’ve had our boot up the backside of Pepco.” Turns out he could’ve kept his boots clean. For the most part, the storm dodged us.
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