I have been very impressed with the way Bernie Sanders is conducting his campaign. He chooses to stay focused on the issues and away from personal attacks on his competitors, including Hillary Clinton.
Martin O'Malley? Not so much.
There's a way to ask for more debates that doesn't involve accusing the DNC, the current President, and Democrats in general of being elitist jerks who are in the tank for Hillary Clinton. Just ask Bernie Sanders, who has managed to avoid doing those things.
O'Malley, on the other hand, just burst in like a bull in a china shop.
“This isn't about the Clintons or the O'Malleys — this is about our country,” said O’Malley, who noted that he backed Clinton for president in 2008.
“And to limit the number of debates in the Democratic Party in a year as important as this? To tell Iowa that they can only have one? Or to tell New Hampshire they can only have one? I don't know where these people — it's the arrogance and the elitism that's creeped into so many aspects of our national party.”
He said that such leadership in Washington “has people very angry and very fed up and wondering if anybody's still on their side.”
“Of all the years we should be having a debate — this is the year they want to exercise their control and try to make the presidential debate some sort of exclusive where we're only allowed to have a handful of them. We had already had six of them, I think by this time last time around.”
During a campaign stop later Wednesday afternoon, O'Malley was more measured in his criticism against party leaders regarding the debates and Clinton, saying that he has a “great deal of respect and admiration” for the former secretary of State.
If more debates are in order, it won't be because O'Malley has slammed "leadership in Washington." He is correct that there were many more debates in 2008. However, 2008 was different because Democrats did not hold the White House. The model for the 2008 debate schedule looked more like the Republicans' 2012 debate schedule, where the goal was to hammer home policy messages that were completely different than those held by the White House at the time.
From my point of view, more debates is great for Crooks and Liars. Everyone likes to see the clips of gaffes and home runs. But from an electoral standpoint, it's not healthy to have the kind of backbiting O'Malley indulged himself in for this interview. If his behavior here is what we can expect from him in debate, then we're better off with six debates and a bunch of Republican nonsense in between.
Take a page out of Bernie's book, Governor O'Malley. Stick to a positive message with strong policy positions instead of launching personal attacks on other Democrats.