Saturday, May 30, 2015
Hillary Clinton Has Serious Primary Opponent In Martin O'Malley
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley kicked off his presidential campaign for the Democratic nomination today at Baltimore's Federal Hill Park with a populist message that implicitly represents an indictment of the Obama administration. O'Malley described the American Dream as "hanging by a thread" and identified rebuilding that dream as his number one priority if elected president. In a direct broadside hit at the presumptive nominee, O'Malley told his supporters about a recent statement Goldman Sachs' CEO made about his great satisfaction with a likely choice between Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton for our next president. O'Malley has a message for the "bullies of Wall Street": "The Presidency is not a crown to be past back and forth between two families."
O'Malley's message is clearly directed at middle class and lower-income Americans. He decried the growing "gap of injustice between a strong, just nation and the nation we are becoming." He bemoaned the fact that 70% of Americans earn the same or less than they did 12 years ago, a first since World War II, a higher unemployment rate than we had 8 years ago and the struggle of family-owned businesses to survive. To illustrate just how much incomes have changed, O'Malley pointed out that a typical GM Worker 40 years ago could send a child to college on two weeks' pay.
O'Malley continued his attack on Wall Street. "We are allowing our land of opportunity to become a land of inequality," he said. "Main Street struggles while Wall Street thrives." He lamented the scourge of hopelessness evident in the recent Baltimore riots: "Conditions of extreme poverty breeds extreme violence." "Our economic system is upside down and backwards, and it's time to turn it around." He promised to restore the Glass-Steagall Act, a post Depression era law abolished under President Bill Clinton that created a wall between commercial and investment banking. He promised to crack down on Wall Street crimes. "Why is it that not a single Wall Street CEO was convicted of a crime related to the 2008 economic meltdown," he asked. "You can get pulled over for a broken tail light but if you wreck the nation's economy, you are untouchable." If a bank is too big to fail, then O'Malley says it should be broken up so it's not. O'Malley said the damage inflicted to the American Dream didn't happen by chance; "powerful and wealthy special interests" used their clout "to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few and taken from the many."
O'Malley provides an attractive alternative to Hillary Clinton for Democrats. What will Democratic power brokers have to say about his broad side attack on Barack Obama's legacy?