Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is correct to point out that the presidency is not a crown to be passed “between two families,” as he stated in a recent “This Week” appearance on ABC. O’Malley is a rising star in the Democratic Party because of his accomplishments, not simply his last name. In eight years as governor of Maryland, and seven years as mayor of Baltimore before that, O’Malley has accomplished a great deal of success. His accomplishments and leadership skills surpass those of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE or Jeb Bush, and for these reasons, Americans throughout the country should consider O’Malley in 2016.
According to Gallup the economy, jobs, and wealth inequality are all major issues for American voters. On these top issues, O’Malley succeeded in bringing Maryland towards the top of every ranking. According to the Maryland Reporter, the following statements from O’Malley are deemed “true:”
Maryland has the highest median household income in America, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has ranked Maryland #1 in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Education Week magazine ranked Maryland’s K-12 schools #1 in America for five straight years. The nonpartisan Pew Center on the State ranked Maryland one of the top three states for upward economic mobility.
Compared to ethical scandals by both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, O’Malley was able to move Maryland towards the top of rankings for education, economic mobility, and entrepreneurship. Also, Maryland was one of only seven states to maintain its AAA bond rating during the recession.
As for innovation, O’Malley found ways to utilize data more efficiently than his predecessors. According to a recent Washington Post article, Maryland’s governor found innovative ways to harness data:
For instance, if the United States reduced infant mortality at the same rate Maryland has, 4,000 American babies a year would survive, he said.
…The concept of data-driven government originated with policing efforts in New York, but O’Malley became the first to expand it across a full government.
“He was the first guy to figure out how to make it work for an entire jurisdiction,” said Robert Behn, a senior lecturer at the Kennedy School at Harvard University who has written extensively about government leadership strategy.
From reducing infant mortality to reducing crime, O’Malley’s CitiStat helped solve statewide dilemmas efficiently and with greater speed than in years past. On a federal level, there’s a good chance that this type of leadership and management could be used to help address everything from veteran disability claim backlogs to education and wealth inequality.
As a result of his success and persona, people in Iowa are now likening O’Malley to JFK. According to a Daily Iowan piece titled Martin O’Malley: The nation’s new JFK?, O’Malley has the ability to “captivate” voters:
O’Malley has the ability to captivate the nation and rise from a relatively unknown to a political juggernaut as John F. Kennedy did in the 1960s, more than 50 interviews with The Daily Iowan show.
“He’s a new breed of Democrats,” Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba, an Obama supporter, said following a private lunch with O’Malley on March 21.
As a public speaker, O’Malley’s 2012 DNC speech was a tremendous success, as is his ability to communicate policy objectives to the people of Iowa.
Furthermore, he can type an email without controversy. Unlike Hillary Clinton, O’Malley has used technology to help his state, not own a server for some bizarre reason. O’Malley has also made wealth inequality an issue, wants to expand Social Security, enacted Maryland’s version of the Dream Act, raised the minimum wage, and oversaw the passage of marriage equality. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, just recently changed views on marriage equality and has remained quiet on a number of other issues that O’Malley championed in Maryland.
According to The Washington Post in 2007, Jeb Bush’s tenure in Florida was “marred by frequent ethics scandals,” so O’Malley’s track record in Maryland beats (at least in terms of scandal) Bush’s years in Florida. For these reasons and more, O’Malley should be considered by Americans throughout the country as a potential pick for president. Unlike Hillary or Jeb, O’Malley hasn’t been linked to a major controversy and his track record can’t be correlated to any major failure. Martin O’Malley, not Hillary Clinton, should be towards the top of any Democrat’s wish list for president and Americans throughout the nation should pay attention to the former Maryland governor.
Goodman is an author and a journalist.