Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Little Less Civility, Marty!

Martin O'Malley has run an honorable, positive, civil campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.  And it's gotten him nowhere.
O'Malley has been going after Hillary Clinton not with a mallet but with a feather.  Like Bernie Sanders, O'Malley has refused to badmouth Mrs. Clinton and has explained that he wants to focus on issues, not personalities, but O'Malley's strategy has led the media to ignore the personality - namely, his own.  All of his efforts have failed to get him out of the low single digits in the polls.
A campaign that accentuates the positive and eliminates negativity toward the opponent may be noble, but it's not what the media want, and, in all honesty, it's not what the voters want.  They want someone who shows that he or she is willing to fight for them and take it to the opposition.  Sanders has shown a willingness to fight everyone and everything without attacking Mrs. Clinton - despite the fact that she's still the Democratic front-runner - but he at least still demonstrates more of a fighting spirit than O'Malley has so far.
Quite frankly, I wish Marty would go after Hillary harder and more forcefully.  Maybe he's reluctant to be seen as picking on a woman - even though the woman in question is hardly a shrinking violet - but if Obama could do it in 2008, why can't Marty do it now?
Right now, Joe Biden is one or two steps away from getting in the campaign, and he's helped merely by being better able to exploit Hillary Clinton's weaknesses than Sanders or O'Malley appear to be.  But the Vice President's candidacy isn't a slam dunk, and Hillary Clinton still holds the dominant position in the race. Recently, O'Malley has been sharpening the daggers and sticking them into Donald Trump, attacking him for his bluster and his tough talk.  "It's not funny, it's not entertaining, and it is unbecoming of the United States of America and the office of president - of the president," he said on MSNBC.
O'Malley's assault on Trump could be a dry run for his fight for the nomination going forward.  I hope so.  If O'Malley doesn't come out swinging in the primaries and the debates, he's not going to be the Democratic presidential nominee.  If Hillary is the nominee, well, Marty can always run for the nomination in 2020.
"Steve," you say, "you mean 2024, don't you?"
I mean, 2020!  To respond to the complaint that Hillary will be running for re-election to the Presidency in 2020, uh, you have to get elected President before you can get re-elected President.  And at this point, Hillary is likely to do neither.

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