Tuesday, January 3, 2012

White House 2016: Gov. Martin O'Malley Starts 2012 Strong // Baltimore Shows 10 Years of Progress, DGA Raises Big $$$

Throughout 2011, Maryland Juice reported on various hints that Gov. Martin O'Malley was beginning to position himself for a 2016 White House bid. Even though it seems like President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign is just beginning, rest assured that the post-November world will reveal a sudden interest in the selection of the Democratic Party's 2016 standard-bearer.

In fact, that jockeying will probably begin in earnest as potential 2016 candidates jockey for a speaking role at the Democrats' Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina later this year. In the meantime, today's news reveals a couple signs that 2012 is starting off on the right track for Gov. O'Malley.

The Associated Press reported today that under Gov. O'Malley's command, the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) came close to doubling its fundraising compared to the last presidential election cycle:
The Democratic Governors Association chaired by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has reported it raised more than $20 million in 2011.

The DGA said Tuesday that the money raised in 2011 outpaces the $12.7 million raised in 2007.

O’Malley says he is proud the DGA was able to help Democratic governors win tough races in Kentucky and West Virginia last year.

O’Malley also says the DGA will have the resources to aid Democratic candidates this year.
This fundraising success will likely allow Governor O'Malley to continue projecting a presence on the national stage in 2012. Mr. O'Malley today also released an unusually weighty set of communiques which seem to foreshadow lofty goals in the future. First, on his blog he re-released a 2002 television spot (watch it below) titled "Believe." The video is paired with an op. ed. from Governor O'Malley in The Baltimore Sun highlighting major successes in Baltimore in the last ten years.

We've copied an excerpt from the Governor's accompanying text below, but you can check out the full version at The Baltimore Sun:
Ten years ago, a television commercial aired simultaneously on all of the TV stations in Baltimore. It was paid for by the private dollars of principled Baltimore business leaders. It began with the words of a little boy.

"My grandmother says we're all part of one big fire. I don't know if that's true, but I know there's a fire inside me."

So began our very public campaign to awaken Baltimore's truer sense of self — to tap the fire inside — and to call upon the power of that spirit to confront the violence of drugs and drug addiction that was killing 300 to 350 of our young men every year — and increasingly, our children.

That jarring and disturbing commercial signaled the very public start of Baltimore's campaign — of Baltimore's fight — to "Believe."

You see, the day the campaign launched, Baltimore held the tragic distinction of being at or near the top of all the wrong lists: most violent, most addicted and most rapidly abandoned major city in America.

Since that day, Baltimore has changed. Over the last 10 years, Baltimore has now achieved the biggest overall reduction of crime in any major city in America — bigger than New York or Los Angeles....

I got a lot of calls from civic boosters and business leaders asking, "Why on earth did you run those ads?"

Ten safer years later, I recall that we ran them for one reason: to challenge one another to "Believe" — in ourselves....

So that our work together might be worthy of their sacrifice, Baltimore, I ask it once again.


Governor Martin O'Malley essentially asks voters a now common political question -- "are you better off today than you were X years ago." But Gov. O'Malley is not running for re-election of Baltimore Mayor or Governor next year. In fact, he's termed out office in Maryland. There must be some other reason that he's highlighting these accomplishments or taking on such a weighty tone....

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