Sunday, October 11, 2015

Candidate Spotlight: Martin O'Malley
You guys have probably heard a lot about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and are at least aware of the huge number of Republican candidates, but what about the less popular Democratic hopefuls? With the first Democratic presidential debate scheduled for Tuesday, October 13, I thought it might be useful to get to know one of the other candidates a bit more.

There are currently 3—well, more like 2—popular Democratic candidates at the moment. According to the Huffington Post's collection of polls, Clinton is sitting at 44%. Sanders trails behind with about a quarter of the vote, and Biden (who isn't officially running) has about a fifth of the vote.

Meet Martin O'Malley. He's the next most popular and polling at a measly 1.2%, but why not learn about other Democratic options? After all, a lot can happen between now and November 2016.
O'Malley working out and
prepping for his debate.

O'Malley is going to have some trouble differentiating himself from the Democratic front runners. He holds similar policy positions and even endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2008. Nonetheless, O'Malley is unique in a few key ways. O'Malley offers a fresh face to the race. Unlike Clinton and Sanders, he does not have experience in the national government, but he was the mayor of Baltimore from 1999 until 2007 and the governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015. Unlike Sanders, who is 74, and Clinton, 67, O'Malley is a spry young 52-year-old (and also really buff).

O'Malley has laid out a list of 15 specific, if highly optimistic, goals that he would pursue if he becomes president. Many of them are economic, but he is also very concerned with the environment. For example, his second goal is to “[g]enerate 100% of American electricity with renewable energy by 2050.” To my knowledge, he is the only Democratic candidate with such a well-defined list.

Although his goals are progressive, O'Malley's political history tells a different story. Until very recently, he was best described as a Clinton Democrat, more centrist than many Democrats we hear about today; however, his policies appear to be shifting further to the left. I wonder how he would act as president and how he will portray himself in debates.

Who's your favorite candidate (Democrat, Republican, or third party) who hasn't been getting a lot of media attention? Do you think he or she has a chance to win the election?

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