Sunday, September 16, 2012

CANDID COMMENTS: Gov. Martin O'Malley Calls Micro-Targeting a "Bullshit" Strategy & Critiques HBO's "The Wire"

Maryland Juice recently caught two interviews with Gov. Martin O'Malley that are worth reading. A few days ago, Maryland's governor (who also chairs the Democratic Governors Association) provided candid comments to the BuzzFeed website and Governing magazine. See a few choice excerpts below, including O'Malley's belief that trying to micro-target independents this year is a futile strategy. Instead, he argues that the Democrats need to fire up the base of younger, more liberal voters, along with people of color. Indeed, O'Malley's stated belief in tonal campaigning (noted below) is something that Maryland Juice agrees with, particularly during the current demographic shifts we are witnessing:
BUZZFEED: O'Malley, a top Obama ally who chairs the the Democratic Governors Association and is often named as a possible presidential contender in 2016, discounted the idea that whoever wins the presidential election will be the candidate who focuses most closely on independent voters. And he suggested that the Democratic National Convention marked a decision to run a campaign centered on core Democratic voters — traditionally, younger, more liberal, African-American and Hispanic.

"Sometimes in campaigns you can drive yourself crazy with the micro-targeting and the pollsters and the tea leaves and the pixie dust trying to twist yourself into triple back-flips to appeal to the three percent that are the undecideds that live in suburbs and have lawns that are less than 20 feet long and all that bullshit," O'Malley said in an interview at BuzzFeed's Manhattan office Thursday. "Just tell the base why you're doing what you're doing and why you're better than the other guy."

O'Malley made the case that undecided voters are simply too diverse to be effectively targeted by a candidate or campaign....

O'Malley dismisses comparisons to The Wire's Thomas Carcetti
In an interview in Governing magazine, O'Malley also addressed comparisons between his own political career and that of Thomas Carcetti, Baltimore's mayor in HBO's hit show "The Wire" (excerpt below):
MARTIN O'MALLEY: (Laughs) I'm not that guy. I mean, there are aspects of that character -- how can I say this? David Simon and I both came from Montgomery County, Md. David came to Baltimore and saw nothing but suffering and hopelessness, and made a lot of money on it. I moved from Montgomery County to Baltimore and saw the tremendous opportunity to heal and save lives. I haven't made a lot of money, but the people of Baltimore achieved the biggest reduction in part 1* crime over the last 10 years of any of the major cities in America.

David Simon has a very, very cynical view of what we're capable of accomplishing as a free people in the face of challenges like the level of drug addiction and violent crime that we had allowed ourselves to sink into in Baltimore. But I've seen the goodness in the people of Baltimore, and that's the power I've chosen to tap into.

I'm glad that I have outlived "The Wire." More importantly, I'm glad Baltimore has outlived "The Wire."

Check out the full interviews with Gov. Martin O'Malley at BuzzFeed & Governing.

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