Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) is prepared to run for President in 2016. He told the Washington Post he can’t wait for Hillary Clinton to announce her decision before laying the groundwork necessary. From the Washington Post:

“I have a great deal of respect for Hillary Clinton,” O’Malley said. “But for my own part, I have a responsibility to prepare and to address the things that I feel a responsibility to address. . . . To squander this important period of preparation because of horse-race concerns and handicapping concerns is just not a very productive use of energy. . . . Right now, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing — the thought work and the preparation work.”

At the moment, the governor is stuck in an awkward position. He clearly wants to run for the White House in 2016 but probably won’t, several close associates say, if Clinton runs. They expect he would defer to her in part out of loyalty to a friend and political ally — he was the second governor in the country to endorse her 2008 presidential bid — and in part because he would be such a long shot against Clinton. In the interview, O’Malley said a possible Clinton bid is not a factor in his thinking “at this point.”

If Clinton does run it is tough to see O’Malley having any chance, so dropping out would be the smart move. His positions are not noticeably to the left of Clinton. On some issue like marijuana policy he is actually well to the right of the Democratic base.

On the off chance Clinton decides not to run or is unable to for health reasons,O’Malley would be relatively well positioned in what would then be a wide open field. He is the governor of a midsize state and still relatively popular at home.

Trying to set yourself up as the Plan B for Clinton operatives/donors is not the most glamorous strategy but there is probably about a 10 percent chance it could pay off.

Photo by mdfriendofhillary under Creative Commons license