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[ 151 ] May 16, 2012 |

It’s totally absurd to be thinking about who the Democrats will nominate for the presidency in 2016, yet for politically-minded people, it’s almost inevitable. That includes me. I’ve spent way too much time thinking about the different possibilities and who I would support among them (leaning toward Gillibrand at this time, but that could easily change). One person bandied around is Martin O’Malley, the governor of Maryland. He seems uninspiring to me, not to mention that he is Tommy Carcetti. And while I wouldn’t want to overstate the importance of this report showing O’Malley to be a hack for Maryland’s powerful poultry industry, that’s not because it’s not bad, it’s because I don’t think enough people will care. Still, this is fairly damning and certainly doesn’t give me any hope that an O’Malley presidency would accomplish anything positive for environmental or food issues, nor stand up to influential capitalists.


Comments (151)

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  1. Davis says:

    Well, he is the only governor I know of who is pushing for a tax increase. He also has pissed off developers by reinstating Smart Growth policies that Ehrilch abandoned. I’m a Marylander, and I voted for him, but he’s not particularly likable. Ehrlich is detestable, though.

    • Sharon says:

      I liked Martin as Mayor. When he was mayor, he wasn’t obviously corrupt, and he instituted City/Crime Stat. As a city resident, being able to pull up recent neighborhood burglaries, assaults, etc. on your laptop, or actually get the DPW to pick up your bulk-trash was a value added service in a city with few services.

      His band is OK for a bar band and I run into Martin and his wife in our local dive bar every once in a while. He’s actually very gracious to some of my friends who used to crew The Wire. (Step right up. Have your picture taken wearing Omar’s trenchcoat!)

      • Jim says:

        Your local dive isn’t Mick O’Shea’s, right? I’d heard he was no longer an occasional-regular there.

        • Sharon says:

          No, it’s The Mount Royal Tavern, The Dirt Church. The story is that He and his wife had their first date there, so they stop in on their anniversary. He also drops by on very random evenings after B’more related events. Not a regular, but not a total stranger.

          Jeeze Mick O’Shae’s is a palace compared to the Tav. (all written while happily using MICA’s wi-fi)

      • Richard Hershberger says:

        I moved to Maryland, but not Baltimore, when he was mayor. I first became aware of him during a hurricane (umm…, Isabelle?). The city had set up dry ice distribution points due to power outages, but they ran out. I watched an impromptu local television news conference where this burly guy went in front of the cameras and explained the bad news that they were out, and they weren’t getting more. I didn’t know who he was at first. It didn’t occur to me that a politician would voluntarily give bad news in a straightforward way with no bullshitting. Only later did I figure out that it was O’Malley. So in other words, from the first time I became aware of him, I have liked him.

  2. Barry Freed says:

    My fear is it will be Andrew fucking Cuomo.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      I just think there’s no way the base allows this to happen. Cuomo does have the gay marriage thing in his favor, but every Democrat is going to support this in 2016.

      • Pseudonym says:

        “Supporting” is not the same as “enacting” however.

        • John says:

          I know this is hard for people outside New York to understand, but nobody outside New York really cares enough about the distinction for it to matter. (O’Malley also enacted gay marriage, btw).

      • Walt says:

        That’s because you have not learned to embrace despair, Erik. I’m assuming Cuomo is inevitable.

        • Davis X. Machina says:

          By then, Afghanistan’s just a footnote, and Iraq barely a memory.

          Cuomo’s just the person we need to successfully prosecute the war against America’s real enemies — public employees.

          I see no reason why we need to let the GOP get out ahead of us on this one.

        • John says:

          The last time a New York politician won a major party presidential nomination was Thomas Dewey in 1948. New Yorkers constantly vastly overrate the national viability of their governors and mayors.

          • Jesse Ewiak says:

            Rockefeller was basically a divorce away from being the nominee. If the elder Cuomo would’ve ran in ’88 or ’92, he likely would’ve won the nomination. That’s like half the time period since 1948.

            • Malaclypse says:

              And RFK was, well, a bullet away, alas.

            • Anderson says:

              Ooh! I want to play!

              May I name the Mississippians who would’ve been presidential candidates, had facts been different from what they were in reality/

              • Jesse Ewiak says:

                I’m just saying, the high opinions New Yorkers had about their Governor’s was realistic for half the time.

                But, anybody who ever thought George Pataki would ever be President can be called a moron.

                • John says:

                  I’m a little bit dubious that Nelson Rockefeller’s chances were ever as high as people thought they were. His loss in 1964 wasn’t actually all that close; plus, the conservative wing of the party was united behind Goldwater while the moderate wing would have never been united behind Rockefeller, even without the divorce.

                  And the fact that Cuomo the Elder never even bothered to run suggests to me that he didn’t come all that close to being president.

                  I’d add that New Yorkers also have a tendency to see their *mayors* as potential presidential candidates, and none of those that I’m aware of has ever mounted a serious campaign – Lindsay and Giuliani’s campaigns were total fiascoes, and the intermittent hopes that are expressed about Bloomberg (and that I believe were occasionally expressed in the past about Ed Koch) are just absurd.

                • Murc says:

                  I would like to note as a New Yorker that a lot of the supposed enthusiasm surrounding our woefully unqualified Mayors and Governors has been Americans Elect-style; top-down and pundit-driven.

                  Not a lot of people actually in this state took seriously the idea that George Pataki or Rudy could ever be President.

            • Pseudonym says:

              And if only FDR had stayed alive, he’d still be president today.

    • Murc says:

      As a proud New York Democrat, allow me to say, with the utmost respect: fuck Andrew Cuomo.

      I didn’t vote for him for Governor, I will not vote for him in a primary, and in the event he is ever the Democratic nominee I will not vote for him for President no matter who he runs against. Maybe this makes me an irresponsible citizen, I don’t care. There are bridges too far for me and Andrew Cuomo is one of’em.

  3. Josh G. says:

    The 2016 presidential election is one reason why it’s important for Elizabeth Warren to win her Senate race this year.

  4. Jesse Ewiak says:

    My personal choice is Sherrod Brown. An unlikely choice unfortunately is Gillibrand. Hopefully, it’s not one of the unholy trio of Cuomo, Warner, and Hickenlooper. Or Hillary could decide to just run in ’16 and crush everybody.

  5. Pseudonym says:

    For some reason, I find the prospect of judging prospective presidents on their positions on the poultry industry rather amusing. Then again, the omniscient wiki claims that Bill Clinton is now a vegan.

  6. I don’t know that this is really that illuminating. Aside from the fact that state government in general always tends to be pretty close to their state’s major industries, it’s not like the location in Delmarva was an accident. Setting up shop there gives the companies three state governments to play off of one another, and though the Bay is a major issue locally, the biggest problem is that it’s a collective action problem. Maryland enacting tougher rules won’t do anything if Virginia fucks everything up, as per usual.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      The bigger problem here is actually consulting with the ag companies to see what they need from the MD Dept of Agriculture.

      • That doesn’t seem all that shocking to me, really, because, again, you’ve got the lawyer more or less pulling the “Delaware and Virginia” (off topic, I swear this place could be a borderline paradise if it weren’t wedged between a crazy state and a parasite)that prompted the remark from O’Malley in the first place.

        Anyway, I’m just saying that I’m not sure how much you can really learn about a Presidential candidate based on the way he handles major industries as a governor.

  7. Sullivan Hyde says:

    I know Secretaries of Labor don’t have the best track record in primaries, but I’d like to see Hilda Solis give it a shot.

  8. njorl says:

    Once O’Malley’s term as governor is up, he’ll run for Mikulski’s senate seat. She’s probably delaying retirement just so O’Malley can take her place. He won’t forego a reasonably sure thing for an extremely unlikely presidential run.

    One thing I would like to see, though, is a president with experience as a big city mayor (O’Malley was mayor of Baltimore). It’s unlikely to happen. Mayors need to do things that matter, and that is bad for political ambitions.

    • david mizner says:


    • Warren Terra says:

      Fire-defying Superhero Corey Booker?

      (Don’t actually know much about him. But he seems popular …)

    • jsmdlawyer says:

      Dude, this is 50 shades of wrong. You obviously don’t live here. (1) Mikulski’s term isn’t up until 2016. (2) O’Malley’s term is up in 2014. (3) Mikulski’s not leaving the Senate until they carry her out. (4) Chris Van Hollen, John Sarbanes, Donna Edwards and a cast of thousands aren’t going to just let O’Malley have a Senate seat.

      • njorl says:

        Van Hollen wants to be house speaker. The others won’t step aside for O’Malley, they will be trounced in a primary by him.

        Mikulski will be 80 in 2016. O’Malley has been her protege. The rumor was she would have stepped down last time if Dems had anyone other than O’Malley who would beat Erlich easily in the govornor’s race.

    • Joe Kopena says:

      On that note, Ed Rendell seems plausible though he’s less visible than a few years ago. That’s assuming he doesn’t get arrested over the MEK debacle.

      • JoyfulA says:

        Ed dumped his wife, the federal judge, for a quite young younger model. He’s a big Alito supporter and personal friend because the Rendells and the Alitos spent a lot of time together in the Virgin Islands. Ed’s on national TV a lot, saying things that would be a feast for opposition research. And other stuff.

        • njorl says:

          He’s always been a bit reckless. Coaxing fans to throw snowballs at the visitors bench at Eagles’ games doesn’t seem very presidential.

  9. david mizner says:

    Like Van Jones, I’m-on-the-Obama-in-16 bandwagon.!/VanJones68/status/124187044904845312

    If we can’t manage to arrange an illegal third term for him, I’d opt for Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, or, my longshot fave, Hilda Solis.

  10. njorl says:

    I think the much more interesting question is who will lead the Democratic House caucus after Pelosi. Hoyer is even older than she is, and Clyburn is only 6 months younger.

    If Democrats don’t retake the House in 2012, it is very unlikely that they would retake it in 2014. I don’t think Pelosi wants to spend 4 more years as minority leader.

    • Wait, if they don’t take it in 2012, presumably that means a Romney Presidency. Given the historical trends in American politics, wouldn’t that make it more likely that they take the House in 2014?

      • njorl says:

        There is a very good chance that Obama could win without the Democrats retaking the house. I’d go as far as saying it is the most likely result in November.

        In addition, the increasing age-polarization of the parties favors Republicans in off-year elections.

        • I don’t know, I would think that Obama winning but losing the Senate anyway is more likely than him winning but failing to re-take the House.

          • avoidswork says:

            I’m terrified that even if Obama wins 2012 (i am a pessimist of the vein “Americans are f*cking stupid”), we could lose the Senate and suffer more in the House.

            Democrats really do need to up their game on the state/local elections and go after the House and Senate races.

            Take MA for an example: Scott “Cosmopolitan” Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren. Despite “It’s the economy, stupid!” proclamations, people may still elect f*cking Scott Brown. Seriously?!

            And with some states seeming like a loss…I fear we are slowly creeping towards making the film “Idiocracy” prophetic.

      • bobbyp says:

        past performance is no guarantee of future returns outcomes……..

    • ScottC says:

      True, Hoyer and Clyburn are quite old – so, Van Hollen or Larson?

  11. Malaclypse says:

    You all are thinking too small. Draft Chairman Bob.

  12. Pseudonym says:

    First, let me observe that a substantial percentage of the LGM facebook posts have this as their snippets:

    Enter an [sic] top online casino where gaming is taken to the next level. Experience over 130 titles for pure casino action and fantastic site promotions.

    On that note, who’s willing to offer some real odds? So far I only see a few candidates:
    – Hillary Clinton
    – Joe Biden
    – Martin O’Malley
    – Kirsten Gillibrand
    – Sherrod Brown
    – John Hinkenlooper
    – Andrew “fucking” Cuomo
    – Mark Warner
    – Hilda Solis
    – Elizabeth Warren(?)
    – Tommy Carcetti
    – Erik Loomis
    – Adolf Hitler

  13. Jim Lynch says:

    O’Malley? He’ll never carry Brooklyn.

  14. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    I do think that we ought to be framing this question in terms of finding a reasonably progressive candidate to draft and get behind rather than sitting on the sidelines and just handicapping the race. There’ll be any number of politically similar candidates from the Clinton-Obama wing of the party who’ll essentially be competing over questions of political style. What’s not clear is whether there will be a serious choice available to their left.

    • avoidswork says:

      Let’s focus now on 2012, then 2014.

      A few years ago, it seemed like Hillary had it in the bag. Then BOOM, Barack Obama swaggered in and HRC faded away.

      Honestly, anything can happen in two years. Anything.

      • Pseudonym says:

        HRC was an obvious candidate since 2000. Obama was on the radar since 2004, as was Edwards for that matter. Does anyone have that level of profile this year?

        • Jim says:

          Well, Edwards still has a pretty high profile at the moment.

        • Warren Terra says:

          You may have noticed that the GOP held the white house when Hullary’s name was being bruited about in 2001, and when Edwards and Obama were being talked about in 2004/2005. There’s less discussion about the next Presidential nominee now because the Democratic Party isn’t seeking a figure behind which it can rally and take the Presidency, it’s seeking to reelect the President it’s got.

          • Pseudonym says:

            I understand why there’s less discussion. That’s why I’m trying to encourage more discussion. I would like to know more about the field of possibilities. GHW Bush in 88 and Gore in 2000 were obvious choices as VPs and runners-up. McCain was the runner-up in 2000 and thus heir presumptive in 2008, Cheney lacking viability in both political career and heart. Likewise, Romney was runner-up in 2008. On the other hand, I don’t know how many would have predicted Dukakis, Clinton, Dole, Shrub, Kerry (or Dean), or Obama four years ahead of time.

            • Jesse Ewiak says:

              Um, Dubya was being puffed up as a future POTUS as soon as he beat Ann Richards in ’94.

              • Pseudonym says:

                That’s why I said I don’t know. I confess that I wasn’t paying much attention back then, being 13 at the time.

                • Warren Terra says:

                  To get a handle on national politics of the late-80s to early 90s, and just because they’re so much fun, I recommend you read Molly Ivins’s books of collected essays, especially the older ones.

                • Pseudonym says:

                  Yeah, that’s where I picked up the Shrub moniker. It’s been a long time though. Plus, back in high school I was one of the founding officers of the Teen-Age Republicans club. It was a youthful indiscretion and what counted for rebellion at the time, and besides, the kerning on the evidence is all wrong.

                • Pseudonym says:

                  And I swear I closed that tag. When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal syntax.

            • Warren Terra says:

              Clinton was the anointed standardbearer of the DLC (back when people thought The New Republic supported Democrats, and when the DLC was not a well-known object of hate) long before 1992 – including a highly promoted (and somewhat disastrously boring) prime-time speaking opportunity at the 1988 convention.

              And Dole was so obviously the 1996 nominee that he might as well have run unopposed for the nomination (the other people that year – Steve Forbes, Lamar Alexander, and Phil Gramm iirc – were a far-from-compelling mix of has-beens and never-were’s).

              I suspect that Dukakis was also a fairly hot prospect before 1988, “Massachusetts Miracle” and all that.

              The only ones on your list that weren’t completely predicable 18 months before their nominating conventions are Dean and Kerry. And of those, you’ll note that one in fact didn’t get the nomination, and the other won the nomination entirely on a mix of bland competence and perceived military credentials (war hero, didn’t offend the patriots by voting against the Stupid War).

      • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

        Wrong answer.

        Or, I guess, it depends on what you want to see from 2016.

        Those who like the Democratic Party the way it is today need not worry about 2016 yet.

        Those who don’t better get working.

        The ’64 Goldwater campaign, which began the transformation of the GOP, essentially began in 1959.

    • Pseudonym says:

      Who would you consider the most recent serious choice available to their left? Serious question, I’m curious.

      • Malaclypse says:

        Maybe,maybe, maybe Warren. Maybe.

        • Richard says:

          Right now, she’s tied with Brown in the polls. Assuming she wins, its hard to believe that a Dem who can only beat a Republican in Massachusetts by a very slim margin can become a viable national candidate

          • Jay B. says:

            If she beats Brown she’ll never have another truly contested election in Massachusetts — she could be senator for the rest of her life.

            Right now, the independents like Brown. Brown is, largely, likable. Like Bill Weld before him. And he’s the incumbent. And he’s got tons of money. He is a very formidable opponent.

            Warren was an unknown a year ago, a distant thought 6 months ago and now a major threat to an incumbent. Yes Massachusetts is a liberal place, but there’s a mindset along the 495 corridor that Democrats shouldn’t run everything. Especially women Democrats.

          • UserGoogol says:

            Scott Brown has been polling inexplicably well since before Warren even entered the contest, so that’s not necessarily a weakness on her part. Brown’s been able to paint himself as the sort of quasi-moderate Republican that Massachusetts likes voting for from time to time. (Hopefully that’ll change as the campaign continues.)

        • Pseudonym says:

          Are there substantive issues on which she’s taken a position substantially to the left of Obama? (I’m asking this as someone who’s already contributed a lot to her campaign from across the country.)

        • Frank says:

          Sorry to go all thirteen dimensional chess, but didn’t Obama’s initial cabinet draft teach us that perhaps poaching quality Democrats from Senate seats/races is poor short- and medium-term strategy for Democrats and progressive policy? Counterintuitive as it is, MA isn’t actually chock full of top-rate D talent (remember Coakley?), probably because its basically a one-party state. Perhaps best to leave the (presumably) extremely excellent Warren in the seat, than risk putting another B-lister against Brown to fill the seat.

          • Warren Terra says:

            Um, Coakley Coasted ineptly to a humiliating defeat, but Congresspeople Capuano and Lynch are well regarded as political prospects, among others, and that’s just off the top of my head.

            • Frank says:

              Capuano is good on policy, but lost to Coakley in the primary. Lynch is certainly a step right from where either he or Warren are; not what you’d want to see from a Massachusetts senator. Both have won reelection essentially unopposed.

          • homunq says:

            Yeah. Luckily, the Republicans already made the same mistake with McCain, leaving Arizona’s single senate seat vacant for the last 3 years.

  15. Bob says:

    Screw 2012, LGM has already broken out the circular firing squad for 2016. Every candidate a flaw; every commenter a progressive warrior.
    What about 2020, who do you all think will be running then? And in what ways will they fail to live up to your progressive standards? And 2024 – hell, I’d be willing to bet the guesses here would be no worse for 2016 than for 2024.

  16. shah8 says:

    You know…

    It’s interesting how there is such an East Coast emphasis…

    With so Dem governers, that pretty much leaves senators as the main contestants for 2016. Most of the notable ones are on the left coast + Feingold. Mebbe we could ignore the Canandian ex governer of Mi, but…

  17. JMG says:

    Dear Mr. Loomis: Face it. There is NO possible Democratic candidate whose policies on those issues would be yours. That’s regrettable IMO, but it’s also an immutable truth. So what’s your least worst choice?

  18. Murc says:

    Does nobody think Schweitzer might throw his hat into the ring?

    Enormously popular Governor of a western state, tons of political connections (high-flying member of the Western Governors Association, former Chair of the Democratic Governors Association) is weirdly believed by a lot of grass-roots organizations despite the fact that he governs like… well, like you’d expect someone representing Montana to. Additionally, he’s term-limited out in 2013… just in time to take a rest, get his feet under him, maybe spend some time at the DNC, and then float a Presidential run.

    It also makes sense if you assume he wants to continue his political career. Tester is up for re-election the same year Schweitzer is term-limited out, so no help there. Baucus is invincible in Montana; if he retires in 2014 Schweitzer could probably score the open seat easily, but if he goes for another term no way Schweitzer takes him head to head. That leaves trying to unseat Rehberg (and Governors usually view the House as a step down) or seeing if he can make a Presidential run work.

    • Jesse Ewiak says:

      Actually, a very recent poll showed Schweitzer beating Baucus by ten points in a primary.

      But, there’s enough interviews out there with him that I truly believe Schweitzer truly hates Washington and not just in the folksy kind of way every “outsider” hates Washington. I mean, he is a politician, so he does have an ego, but I think the only way he runs in ’16 if Obama loses in ’12.

  19. bradp says:

    While I agree that it raises red flags about what kinda president he will be (a lot of industries with as much to offer as the poultry industry will be trying to cut deals in Washington), if this is what you call “fairly damning” I think I can reserve you a seat in the Government Haters Club.

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