Saturday, April 21, 2012

JuiceBlender: Reporters on Gov. Martin O'Malley for President // Plus, O'Malley on Delaney v. Garagiola & Our First Meme!

UPDATE: An O'Malley 2016 draft effort has emerged on Facebook.

For the past few months, Maryland Juice has been tracking the careful positioning of Gov. Martin O'Malley in the 2016 White House lineup. On Tuesday we noted that CNN contributor Bill Schneider had booked Gov. O'Malley for a media talk that billed him as a "hot prospect" for 2016. The event was hosted by a centrist Democratic think tank called "The Third Way." Now it seems that media speculation about the future of Maryland's Governor is sprouting up all over the place. Below we flag a few interesting press hits about the 2016 White House race. Among the bits of juice below are recent comments from Governor O'Malley about the recent CD6 Democratic Primary, comments about transvaginal probes, and remarks about Maryland's budget battle:

JUICE #1: O'MALLEY WOOS NATIONAL PRESS CORPS WITH TRANSVAGINAL PROBES - The Baltimore Sun's Annie Linskey reported on the results of  O'Malley's media talk (see excerpt below). She notes some wildly sarcastic comments from the Governor below, and Maryland Juice celebrates the occasion with our first meme:
BALTIMORE SUN: Reporters from Time, USA Today, Newsweek, MSNBC and the NewsHour were among the roughly 30 journalists to attend the "Inside Politics" breakfast hosted by CNN pundit Bill Schneider at Third Way, a think tank in Washington. The first questions were on the recent troubles in Annapolis -- the legislature adjourned last week without approving the budget that leaders had agreed upon.

O'Malley told the group that a "silly bomb of gambling" went off on the final day of the legislative session, creating a budget deadlock that left the state with a budget that deeply cuts Democratic priorities like education....

National political analysts have said that a lingering Annapolis impasse could tarnish O'Malley's good-government and pro-education credentials. But after an initial round of questions Friday, reporters did not dwell on the topic.

The governor was asked about his perceived presidential ambitions. As he has in the past he deflected the questions, saying that he's focused now on governing Maryland.

He also took some jabs at the Republican party, which he believes has strayed from the economy. "Nothing says jobs like transvaginal probes," O'Malley said, referring to the controversial legislation backed by VA Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, that would have required some women to undergo the invasive procedure before having an abortion.

JUICE #2: O'MALLEY ON CD6 DEM PRIMARY, BUDGET BATTLE & 2016 - The Capital News Service (CNS) printed interesting comments from Gov. O'Malley's meeting with the national press corps. CNS starts with further commentary from O'Malley over the budget battle, but they also describe his take on the CD6 battle between John Delaney and State Senator Rob Garagiola (excerpt below):
CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE: But as for his own state’s budget quandary, O’Malley said he was “hopeful” legislative leaders in the Democratic-controlled Maryland General Assembly would agree on a state spending plan for a special session in time to avert the “doomsday budget,” which contains deep cuts to education and other areas.

“We’re all independently elected people,” O’Malley said, denying he has direct control over Democratic presiding officers. “But I think there are members of the General Assembly who look at how things broke down and said, ‘This is not who we are....’”

Neither Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert, nor House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel, returned calls seeking comment.

Maryland’s Democrats have had difficulties uniting not only in the legislature, but over the 6th Congressional District primary race, which saw upstart Potomac businessman John Delaney knock off O’Malley-endorsed state Sen. Rob Garagiola of Germantown. On Friday, O’Malley tried again to put the dissention to rest.

“I think (Delaney) waged a much better campaign (than Garagiola) … which is why he’s the better candidate for the fall,” O’Malley said, citing Delaney’s strong fundraising and heavy television presence.

But it is O’Malley’s potential as a candidate that brought him to the Third Way breakfast, which billed him as a “hot prospect” for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

Host Bill Schneider, a political analyst, frequent CNN contributor and distinguished senior fellow at Third Way, explained that O’Malley’s position as DGA chairman, as well as media speculation that O’Malley could launch a presidential campaign after he leaves office in 2015, made him an ideal featured guest.
“The invitation was simply to indicate that (O’Malley) is usually on the list of leading Democrats who could be contenders in 2016,” said Schneider, who noted that whether Obama or Romney wins this November, the race for the Democratic nomination will be wide open in four years. “And … I think he should be on that list.”

O’Malley punted on the 2016 question when pressed at the breakfast.

“People kindly mention me when they talk about what the future of our party holds,” O’Malley said. He praised three other Democrats who are in the mix of possible 2016 contenders — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden — and added it was “nice” to be named among them.

But O’Malley remained noncommittal, saying, “The future will be. … Four years is a long time.”

JUICE #3: MORE O'MALLEY COMMENTARY ON CD6 PRIMARY - Roll Call also had a quick blurb about Gov. O'Malley's comments. They provided more coverage of his thoughts on the 6th Congressional District Democratic Primary:
ROLL CALL: O’Malley, like most of the party establishment, endorsed state Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola over Delaney in the Democratic primary. O’Malley also did robocalls for him. 
“But as far as the Democratic Party? I think we’ll all be pretty united behind John Delaney, who’s a very successful businessman,” O’Malley said. “I know him, he has been kind and helpful to me in both the of my two statewide campaigns.” 
“I think he waged a much better campaign,” O’Malley added about Delaney. “I mean, he was better-funded. He was on the air more.” 

JUICE #4: O'MALLEY PONDERS WHITE HOUSE BID WITH FAMILY - The Christian Science Monitor reported on Gov. O'Malley's 2016 White House prospects. In the article clip below, he admits that there has been talk of a run within his family. Notably, O'Malley also seems to be walking away from red meat issues like income and wealth disparities, instead choosing to focus on previewing a message focused on education and opportunity (excerpt below):
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: Martin O’Malley is often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2016, and when asked Friday if he might run, he offered the usual “I’m too busy being governor of Maryland” response.

But Governor O’Malley didn’t rule it out. And when asked whether he’s had any discussion with his family, he allowed that the subject has come up with his two college-age daughters.

“My daughters will e-mail me when they see the honorable mentions with such tremendous leaders as Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo, who’s done an outstanding job in New York, and Vice President Biden, who my daughters just adore,” said O’Malley, speaking at the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way in Washington. “They’ll e-mail me and say, ‘Boy, Dad, it’s nice to be included.’ So there’s that sort of talk.”

O’Malley dropped other hints that suggested the idea of running for president might have crossed his mind.  

“Anything that you hope to do later in public service always depends on your doing a good job at what you’re doing right now,” says O’Malley, who’s in his second term. “And so ... in some ways it’s a simpler time for me, because I know I cannot run again for governor. “

That means no need to carve out time to raise money for a reelection campaign, or pressure from the party to run again and hold the statehouse, he says.

These thoughts about a possible campaign came after he maintained he wasn’t thinking much about running.

“I also am the head of the Democratic Governors Association for the second year, and I suppose for that reason as well as the good job we’ve done in Maryland together over these last few years, people kindly mention me when they talk about what the future of our party holds,” O’Malley said....

But in his conversation Friday with national reporters, O’Malley preferred to focus on the good news coming out of his state. O’Malley is all about metrics, and he came with an armful: Maryland public schools have been named No. 1 in the nation by Education Week magazine four years in a row. Maryland has also gone four straight years without raising tuition in its public universities. Violent crime is down to its lowest levels in 30 years. Over the past year, Maryland has had the ninth-best job-creation rate in the United States. Maryland has the highest median income in the country....

Over and over, O’Malley came back to education as an area where government can build for the future. So here’s an early guess: If he does run in 2016, he’ll pitch himself as the “education president....”

“So,” he concluded, speaking about the Democrats’ overall message this fall, “I think opportunity is what this is going to be about.

More on the 2016 White House race soon!

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