If I were a Democrat who had designs on running for president I might do exactly what former Gov. Martin O’Malley appears to be doing.
Among Democrats nationally Martin O’Malley has topped out at 1% or less in early presidential polls. The main reason is that he has almost zero name recognition, as opposed to the presumptive favorite Hillary Clinton or even Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who insists she is not running, despite draft petitions from far left groups like MoveOn.org.
CNN, who for decades has been called the Clinton News Network, recently reported on a trip O’Malley took to Iowa. O’Malley attended a Democrat fundraiser in Davenport, Iowa, where almost no one knew him including one retiree, Marcia Keefer.
Before O’Malley’s speech, where he stood perched on an old kitchen chair, Keefer was set on voting for Hillary. After, she was seen leaving with a stack of O’Malley posters. If Hillary was truly “the one,” I’m not sure CNN would give O’Malley the time of day.
Yesterday Howard Kurtz on Fox News brought up the possibility of O’Malley “gearing up to mount a presidential campaign.”
Kurtz goes on to say, “but he never says anything negative about Hillary.” From the inflection in Kurtz’s voice, it appeared he seemed surprised at this — as if this were a prerequisite to entering the campaign.
Kurtz continued: “How could he run for the Democratic nomination and not lay a glove on who is admittedly 150 points or so ahead.” And Kurtz is right, but only about not laying a glove on Hillary. O’Malley indeed never mentions Hillary or the Clintons by name in any of his “stump speeches” or interviews.
The closest he comes to mentioning Hillary was last Sunday on this week with George Snuffleupagus. O’Malley said, “The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families,” an obvious dig at the Clinton and Bush families. Yet again, he doesn’t mention Hillary or the Clintons by name.
And Kurtz is not alone. Several news outlets have said the same of O’Malley — that he appears to be running, but will not even mention his opponent and front runner Hillary.
This is a key point, and I believe one that the pundits may be missing. I think he’s playing nice, gaining name recognition and biding his time. Biding his time for what? Why, for Hillary to implode.
I think he knows what some of us know — that Hillary can’t and won’t survive this latest round of scandals that plague her. I’m guessing that he will continue playing Mr. Nice Guy until he hears of or receives a direct sign that the Democrat kingmakers have had enough of Hillary and are looking to jump off the Clinton express. That, and he is trying to remain likable — something that Hillary is not.
Given enough time, he may be able to cobble together enough support for him to be the next logical choice of the powerbrokers. And by not speaking ill of Hill, he will not have alienated her supporters.
I still hold the opinion that Hillary will either drop out voluntarily or be taken to some secluded woodshed and told to do so, probably by some Soros leg breaker. And there will be Martin O’Malley — Mr. Nice Guy — waiting in the wings to take the torch without skipping a beat.
His strategy, if this is indeed what he has planned, may be all just a matter of good timing.
If I were a Democrat, that’s how I would play it.