Whatever you might think of the rest of former Gov. Martin O'Malley's performance at the Democratic debate this Tuesday, his closing was just wonderful.
But although the debate offered him a much needed chance at exposure, for O'Malley's campaign to truly take off, he needed more than one two good moments: he needed a strong, sustained showing throughout the entire debate, including his closing statement. And, luckily for O'Malley, he achieved it. His closing statement was a fitting culmination of his overall debate performance: strong, succinct, and effective at distinguishing himself from the other candidates. And he appealed to a larger amount of voters — especially youth voters — during an earnest address to the American people.
I am very very grateful to be on this stage with this distinguished group of candidates tonight. And what you heard tonight ... was a very very different debate from the sort of debate that you heard from the two presidential republican debates. On this stage you didn't hear anyone denigrate women, you didn't hear anyone make racist comments about new American immigrants. You didn't hear anyone speak ill of another American because of their religious beliefs.
What you heard was an honest search for the answers that will move our country forward, to move us to a 100 percent clean electric energy grid by 2050. To take the actions that we have always taken as Americans, so that we can actually attack injustice in our country, employ more of our people, rebuild out cities and towns, educate our children at higher and better levels, and include more of our people in the sociopolitical and economic life of our country.
I truly believe that we are standing on the threshold of a new american progress, unless you become discouraged about our gridlock in Congress, talk to our people under 30. You'll never find among them people who want to bash immigrants, people who want to deny rights to gay couples. That tells me we are moving to a more connected, generous, compassionate place, and we need to speak to the goodness within our country.
His debate performance wasn't exactly the Fiorina moment he was hoping for, but it was an excellent first showing. What O'Malley needed most was exposure, something that the debate clearly provided. His closing statement was one of his strongest moments of the night. If he can capitalize upon that rhetoric and success going into the next debates, he might just find his Fiorina moment.
I agree it was his strongest moment of the debate, but I don't believe anyone on the left needs a "Fiorina moment." Other than that I largely agree with their assessment of how O'Malley did tonight.