Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, Linc Chaffee, and Jim Webb spoke to the Democratic Party annual Hall of Fame dinner.
July 20, 2015

You could watch all four Democratic candidates fire up the faithful at this Iowa dinner Friday night. If you've never heard them speak, here's your chance. Via Politico:

O’Malley plainly showed the most potential in Cedar Rapids, successfully firing up a crowd full of partisans for rival candidates. But his performance also highlighted his central problem as he concentrates on Iowa: he has yet to define whether he wants to be the progressive standard-bearer or the candidate with executive experience.

“My name is Martin O’Malley, I’m running for president, and I need your help,” he said, effectively acknowledging from the start that he is still working to gain traction and higher name recognition. The crowd rose to its feet repeatedly over the next 15 minutes as he ticked through a progressive wish-list — from Wall Street reform to sweeping clean energy measures. Nonetheless, O’Malley’s central pitch seemed to be based on the notion that his city hall and governor’s mansion experience would impress.

“I am the only candidate for president with fifteen years of executive experience,” he said. “We didn’t just talk about it, we actually got it done.”

The two pitches are not mutually exclusive, but they’re separate messages. Without choosing one to center his campaign on, O’Malley appeared to be a compelling character but not necessarily a viable option — at least for now. He finished to serious applause and scattered “O-Mall-ey!” chants. But they were drowned out within seconds by roars from far more enthusiastic backers of the next speaker:

“Bernie! Bernie!





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