March 29, 2015

Our corporate media has been more than happy to coronate Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee and then proceed to tear her down before she's even announced her candidacy for 2016, so I'm glad to see some other Democrats looking like they're ready to challenge her in the primary.

Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has been spending a lot of time in Iowa lately and sounded like he's ready to give Clinton a run for her money on this Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Martin O'Malley joins us right now. Thank you for joining us, governor.

O'MALLEY: Thank you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Two threshold questions for anyone even thinking of running. Why are you running? Why are you the best person for the job? What is your answer?

O'MALLEY: I believe that our country is at a defining moment in our history. The American dream has become something that is no longer true for the 80 percent of us working harder and not getting further ahead. And I have the experience through after 15 years of public service as an executive in a big city and also as governor of a state, of getting things done, bringing people together to accomplish difficult things in order to give our kids a better future and create a stronger economy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Sounds like you have honed that down.

But back in 2007, you were one of Hillary Clinton's earliest supporters. You were chair of her Maryland campaign. You called her the experienced leader America needs. And you added this, you said that no one is better equipped to repair America's alliances abroad and address the urgent needs of our communities at home. No one is better equipped. Is that still true today?

O'MALLEY; Well, I certainly believed that for those times, that she would be the best choice for us as a country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: For those times?

O'MALLEY: For those times.


O'MALLEY: I believe that there are new perspectives that are needed in order for us to solve the problems that we face as Americans and also the problems that we face as people on this planet. And I believe that new perspective and new leadership is needed.

But more important than that, George, the two phrases I'm struck with all over the country are the phrases that people come up and say to me in every state, which is we need people who know how to get things done and we need new leadership.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What I'm struck by...

O'MALLEY: And that's what I'm hearing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ...that sounds like you just announced for president right here. You said that we need new perspectives, new leadership. You're ready to challenge her, aren't you?

O'MALLEY: Well, I think that our country always benefits from new leadership and new perspectives. Let's be honest here, the presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families, it is an awesome and sacred trust that to be earned, and exercised on behalf of the American people.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Those two families Bush and Clinton?

O'MALLEY: Well, right now, George, you know, the -- any two families. But look, in order for us to make an economy again where people can work hard and get ahead, we need a president who is on our side, a president who is willing to take on powerful, wealthy, special interests in order restore that sort of American economy where wherever you start on the earnings spectrum, you can get ahead through your hard work. That's not the economy we have today.

Twelve years in a row of wages declining. And it doesn't have to be this way.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Hillary Clinton is not the candidate to take on those powerful special interests?

O'MALLEY: Well, I don't know. I don't know where she stands. Will she represent a break with the failed policies of the past? Well, I don't know. What I know for my own part is in Maryland, we did the things that worked in order to attain the highest median income in the country, in order to create more jobs at a faster rate than our neighbors in Virginia or Pennsylvania. And we also followed policies of inclusion when it comes to marriage equality, the DREAM Act, common sense rights for new Americans like driver's licenses so that they could take care of their families and also reinforce this American dream.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor, I have to say you surprised me, I wasn't expecting you to be this direct in taking on former secretary of state Hillary Clinton this morning. It sounds like you're getting the reception in Iowa that's convinced you you should go forward with this.

O'MALLEY: Well, George, it's not about being for or against any other candidate, it's about being for the national interests. We can become a strong country again with a strong economy that works for everyone again. But we have to put national interests ahead of special interests.

And right now, it's not even a fair fight. It's as if Wall Street owns one party, and is trying to totally intimidate the other party. And we need to stand up and put the national interests first. If we do that, we can restore our economy.

I'm glad he's getting in and hope to see at least a few more announce in the coming weeks. Whoever wins the Democratic primary should have to work for it.

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