Cennamology Chief Editor
Former Governor Martin O'Malley is officially in the presidential race, and he unsurprisingly modeled the message he pitched to America during his campaign announcement speech on what an Elizabeth Warren announcement speech would sound like.
In response to the CEO of Goldman Sachs, who recently said he would be "fine with either Clinton or Bush," O'Malley fed the crowd a very Warren-esque message.
"The presidency is not a crown for you to pass between two royal families," O'Malley said. "It is a sacred trust to be earned from the people of the United States, and exercised on behalf of the people of the United States."
Even though the poll from the day before was bad news for the campaign, O'Malley still had a fairly successful announcement event on a beautiful day in Federal Hill, with iconic city images in the backdrop, including the aquarium, inner harbor, and downtown Baltimore.
A crowd of about 1,000 people came to see their former mayor and governor announce his next move. The announcement did have some eerie parallels to Sen. Sanders's. He is a candidate who was elected statewide after being the mayor of his state's largest city, announcing in that very city in front of a body of water. It's unfortunate that he did not give out free ice cream too!
The low poll number was not the only difficulty surrounding the announcement today. Before O'Malley's speech, his announcement video to be shown on a big screen for the crowd froze like a YouTube video in a building with a poor Wi-Fi connection. After that technical difficulty and during the candidate's speech, a group of about a dozen or so protesters among the crowd started heckling him about his tenure as Baltimore's mayor, particularly about his policy of zero tolerance towards crime.
The first of the hecklers was a young woman named Megan Kenny who sneaked in a homemade sign reading "Stop Killer Cops," and "#SayHerName". Signs were not allowed into the event, so she obviously had to hide it to get in. A few minutes after she started yelling "Black Lives Matter," more demonstrators joined in having obviously waited for a spark.
However, after it was obvious that the police were not arresting anyone, other hecklers continued to try to interrupt the speech. The most popular message that was shouted was "no more zero tolerance policies," among other similar messages. One of the anti-O'Malley attendees notably wore a shirt that read "Carcetti for Mayor," referencing Tommy Carcetti, the fictional mayor of Baltimore on the HBO television series "The Wire." A popular (but unconfirmed) fan theory postulates that Carcetti was based on Mayor O'Malley. The protesters came prepared, with two bringing whistles, which I am unsure how those made it through security.
The protests were not limited to inside the event. Outside Federal Hill, demonstrators with more professional looking signs and posters were gathered to voice their distaste of O'Malley's tenure as mayor, saying he is partially culpable for what happened to Freddie Gray and other African Americans across the city.
The part of the announcement that was most effective in laying out O'Malley's platform and vision for America was not actually in his part of the speech but in the four shorter speeches before his. All four of them were Marylanders who eloquently said how O'Malley's policies as governor and mayor impacted and improved their lives.
One of the speakers was Jonathan Jayes-Green, an Afro-Latino and LGBT advocate who recalled Election Day 2012, when Marylanders voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality and the DREAM Act. I identified with this because this day was the one where I was proudest to be a Marylander. However, hearing about how that day impacted a person who was directly affected by both issues on the ballot made me very happy because it showed how all the hard work by the thousands of volunteers for both of those issued paid off. Jayes-Green is an embodiment of O'Malley's social policy and how those issues affect ordinary people, and it also shows that O'Malley does care very much about ordinary Americans.
In the end, this may be more of a run for vice president than for president, but O'Malley deserves to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. Hillary should fight for the nomination, and once O'Malley makes himself more known among the public, his poll numbers will improve. Good luck governor!