Martin O'Malley Won't Let Resounding Public Indifference Stop Him From Mulling a 2020 Run

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Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland and part-time acoustic guitar shredder, has largely stayed out of the spotlight after ending his unexceptional 2016 presidential campaign. But that doesn’t mean that O’Malley is a washed-up loser! In fact, he’s thinking about repeating the feat and putting his hat in the ring for 2020. He even went to New Hampshire, which all presidential candidates do.


Earlier today, O’Malley, your friend’s dad who let you have wine with dinner when you were 18, told NBC that he’s “keeping an open heart and an open mind about running again for president.” He also discussed the tone of the 2016 election, saying:

“The mood that animated the electorate last time around was a mood of anger, rage and retribution, and in that atmosphere, I found myself between a rock and an angry place and couldn’t get enough oxygen even to have my message heard.”

Hmm, that’s certainly one way to put it! O’Malley’s 2016 campaign was a third-wheeling dud, raking in .6% of the vote during the Iowa caucuses. Highlights of the campaign included O’Malley apologizing for saying “All Lives Matter” to Black Lives Matter activists, and his paltry showing at a primary debate.

At a “Politics and Eggs” event hosted by New Hampshire Institute of Politics earlier today, O’Malley also said:

“We have to shake ourselves out of the pity party. We have to hold out and cast away the fear of the future that has become the stale currency of our current politics, and instead embrace it, not be afraid of the light that shines within us. Look into the eyes of our kids and call forward that goodness.”


O’Malley’s non-denial of another presidential run isn’t exactly surprising as he’s been rather openly courting voters. Last year, O’Malley’s own leadership PAC O’Say Can You See (yes, really) commissioned a survey of Iowa voters and found that his popularity had increased considerably since his 2016 run—which makes sense seeing as how neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders were included in the survey. (The poll listed other potential candidates like Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Andrew Cuomo, and others, but left out others like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown.)


Of course, just because the beefcake with a heart of gold has surfaced from relative obscurity to essentially call dibs on a presidential run doesn’t mean he should, you know, run. Sometimes it’s just better to take the .6% and let it go, man.

Isha is a staff reporter who covers pop culture, representation in media, and your new faves.