Martin O’Malley is not running for president. Feel free to take a moment to compose yourself.
Who is Martin O’Malley? Well, he was the mayor of Baltimore (1999 to 2007) and then the governor of Maryland (2007 to 2015), and he ran for president in 2016. He was the other candidate — not Bernie Sanders and not Hillary Clinton.
And, what’s really funny is this: Martin O’Malley would have been the kind of generic Democrat who could have beaten Donald Trump. His candidacy couldn’t overcome Hillary Clinton’s coronation, though, and he dropped out after the Iowa caucuses.
Many thought O’Malley would be back in 2020.
He campaigned for Democratic candidates across the country in 2018.
And he did build some modest support and infrastructure in 2016 in important caucus/primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
But O’Malley writes in today’s Des Moines Register that he is OUT for 2020.
He did encourage another candidate to jump into the race, though:
Here’s what O’Malley had to say about the outgoing congressman and the oh-so-close Senate candidate from El Paso:
“In his courageous run for U.S. Senate in Texas, O’Rourke ran a disciplined and principled campaign that also managed to be raw, authentic, and real. He spoke to the American values of honesty, compassion for one another, and courage in the face of a rapidly changing future. These are the American values alive and well in the hearts of our young people. These are the values which tell us where America is headed. And with these values, O’Rourke very nearly defeated the incumbent senator and Republican runner-up for president — in Texas.”
There’s also a report that O’Malley and O’Rourke huddled back in December:
O’Malley met w Beto shortly before Xmas, per a Maryland Dem briefed on the chat https://t.co/jYXGvxm6TL
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) January 3, 2019
A lot goes into a successful bid for the presidency. One of those things is developing a deep bench of surrogates who go on television and give stump speeches in support of the campaign.
If O’Malley is sold on O’Rourke, and if O’Rourke does jump into the race, he’ll start with a solid surrogate and supporter in his corner.