Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley ‘has a responsibility’ to keep the door open for potential 2016 bid

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, February 3, 2014

Count Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to be one potential candidate in the race for President in 2016 – should former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opt not to run, that is.

The Democrat told The Washington Post in an interview published over the weekend weekend that he is leaving the door open to a potential run in two years, and has even begun exploring a potential bid in recent months, already setting up meetings with experts in domestic and foreign policy experts as part of his preparation.

“I have a great deal of respect for Hillary Clinton,” O’Malley told the paper. “But for my own part, I have a responsibility to prepare and to address the things that I feel a responsibility to address. . . .To squander this important period of preparation because of horse-race concerns and handicapping concerns is just not a very productive use of energy. . . . Right now, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing — the thought work and the preparation work.”

The last time O’Malley was publicly asked about the race – on CNN’s “State of the Union” three weeks ago –  he told host Candy Crowley that he wasn’t ready to make a decision about the race nor did he have a timeline set for the decision.

“It’s an honor to even be mentioned in the company of those that might lead our country forward after President Obama, and right now I’m focused on the work at hand and the work of this general assembly session in Maryland,” he told Crowley.

O’Malley’s political action committee, O’ Say Can You See, raised nearly $2 million last year according to its latest Federal Elections Commission filing report.

The lame duck governor, whose current term expires at the end of the year, also told the Post that he doesn’t plan on taking any action toward a potential bid until 2015 at the earliest.

“This is not the year for rolling out yard signs or bumper stickers,” O’Malley said. “I’m meeting with people in ways that never really make the paper, and shouldn’t — people that have experience in foreign affairs and foreign policy and national security, all of which is part of a continuing education and refinement of my beliefs and thoughts about how to govern ourselves as a people.”

Virtually every poll conducted over the past year has Clinton ahead in the Democratic primary by a landslide, including a Public Policy Polling study conducted last week which gave the former first lady a 60 point lead in the race. With Clinton in the race, O’Malley netted a single percentage of the Democratic primary electorate; without Clinton O’Malley’s vote share jumps to 4 percent.

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