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O’Malley to Democrats: Country will be in a different mood in 2020

  • Martin O’Malley speaks at a Politics and Eggs event at Saint Anselm College on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Paul Steinhauser / For the Monitor

For the Monitor
Published: 4/3/2018 1:53:08 PM

Martin O’Malley isn’t closing any doors to another White House run.

“I’m keeping an open heart and an open mind to that. I could well run for president again,” the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate said Tuesday.

But the former longtime Baltimore mayor who went on to serve two terms as Maryland governor added that he’s in no rush to make any decisions.

“In the fullness of time I will make a decision about whether or not I will run for president again. So we’ll see,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley said the 2018 elections have been his focus lately and “what I’ve been putting my energies into.”

“I’ve rededicated my own leadership PAC into helping people win back their own states. Last year I was in 21 states for 36 different candidates,” he said. “I intend to do even more in this important midterm year when 36 states have elections up for state legislature and governor.”

New Hampshire is one of those states.

O’Malley made three trips here last year to help Democrats running in State House special elections and in last November’s municipal contests. He said he’ll definitely return to the Granite State later this year to help Democrats running in the 2018 elections.

“I am going to do everything in my power to maximize whatever help I can bring to candidates across the country, not only in New Hampshire, not only in Iowa, but a lot of states where other Democrats don’t go,” he said.

O’Malley talked with the Monitor minutes after speaking at Politics and Eggs at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. The speaking series on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Goffstown is a must-stop for White House hopefuls.

O’Malley also spoke at Politics and Eggs in early 2015, as he kicked off his first presidential run. Even though he spent plenty of time on the campaign trail in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote in the presidential primary and caucus calendar, his effort couldn’t keep up with the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. After a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, O’Malley ended his bid.

But O’Malley said Tuesday that 2020 could be different.

“So much of politics is about timing, and the mood that animated the electorate in both primaries and into the general was a mood of anger, rage and retribution. A lot of us just wanted to break the kitchen table – or more accurately the table of our democracy,” he explained. “But now that we’ve broken it, people are in a different sort of mood. We realize that anger doesn’t make our country stronger or give our kids better opportunities.”

He predicted that the country will be in a “different mood come 2020 than we were in 2016.”

“And the first course correction for that is 2018,” he said.

O’Malley told the audience at Politics and Eggs that “trust or a lack of trust is the single biggest issue facing our nation.”

While he’s a major critic of President Donald Trump, he said there’s been a silver lining.

“As a Democrat, say what we will as a party about Donald Trump, he has been the most effective tool for candidate recruitment we have ever had,” he said.

And he urged Democrats to “shake ourselves out of the pity party” hangover from the 2016 elections.

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