Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has been hesitant to take on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the two Democrats consider runs for President in 2016. But on ABC’s “This Week,” on Sunday, O’Malley told host George Stephanopoulos, “The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families,” a thinly veiled jab at Mrs. Clinton - and potential Republican contender former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
O’Malley went on to say, “I believe that there are new perspectives that are needed in order for us to solve the problems that we face as Americans.” He added, “I believe that new leadership is needed.”
O’Malley is currently trailing Clinton in the polls by a substantial margin. In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of Democratic voters, 86% of voters said they could see themselves supporting Clinton, while just 11% said they could see themselves supporting O’Malley.
But O’Malley told Stephanopoulos his current low poll numbers don’t faze him. “History is full of times when the inevitable front-runner is inevitable right up until he or she is no longer inevitable.” And in another apparent reference to Mrs. Clinton, the former governor added, “I believe that what people want, especially this year, is someone with proven executive experience: the ability to get things done, rather than putting their finger in the wind and looking for popularity.”
The former Maryland governor appeared to be positioning himself as a more liberal alternative to Hillary Clinton, declaring, “We need a president who’s on our side, a president who’s willing to take on powerful, wealthy special interests” to restore the economy. Asked if Clinton would take on special interests, O’Malley replied, “I don’t know where she stands. Will she represent a break with the failed policies of the past? I don’t know.”
The direct and indirect references to Mrs. Clinton were not lost on Stephanopoulos. “You surprised me,” the host said. “I wasn’t expecting you to be this direct in taking on former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.” O’Malley responded, “It’s not about being for or against any other candidate, it is about being for the national interests.”
So is Martin O’Malley throwing his hat in the ring for the presidency? “I will make a decision this spring,” he said.