Sunday, October 11, 2015

Game On

In just two days, Martin O'Malley will stand before the American people and either break out of the Democratic presidential candidates or see his campaign fall apart.  After spending all summer in the low single digits in the polls, this may be his last chance as well as his best chance to prove himself a worthy contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.  
I have this unsettling fear that O'Malley will give a stellar performance that will be second-guessed and cavalierly dismissed by a media establishment that neither knows nor cares about his campaign.  The establishment media are clearly in Hillary Clinton's corner while the alternative media are backing Bernie Sanders.  Marty has a firm grip on the issues, he has his record as mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland, and he's likely ready for any curve balls thrown his way in light of all the feathers he ruffled in the Old Line State (like his storm remediation fee to combat environmental damage in Maryland, called the "rain tax" by his opponents) but a press corps that doesn't take his candidacy seriously isn't likely to take his debate performance seriously.  Conclusion:  Marty has to be so good that the press can't ignore him or dismiss him.  Good news: He can do it!
Yes, he's at three percent in the Iowa and New Hampshire polls (at best), but this first Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 campaign could very well change that . . .maybe literally overnight.  I'm glad, though, that he's stopped comparing himself to Gary Hart, whose 1984 campaign he worked for, because even though Hart came out of nowhere to win the New Hampshire primary that year, he didn't win the nomination, and he blew what would have been a cakewalk to the 1988 nomination with a pleasure cruise to Bimini.  To admit that you campaigned for Hart in your twenties is like a Republican admitting to having campaigned in his twenties for Nixon (eh, Karl Rove?), a comparison that's all the more obvious when considering Hart's Nixonian qualities (deviousness, underhanded insinuations, a complete and utter disrespect for the press).  But the 1976 campaign of Jimmy Carter and the 1992 campaign of Bill Cliinton, to which O'Malley also has likened his long-shot campaign, saw more positive results.
Let's hope Marty gets to follow in their footsteps. :-)           

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