CHARLOTTE — Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) touted several accomplishments in Maryland and shared some of his Iowa connections during a visit Wednesday to the convention delegation from the nation’s first presidential caucus state.
Since arriving here for the Democratic National Convention, O'Malley has been aggressively making the rounds on the delegation breakfast circuit, arguing the case for President Obama’s re-election to receptive crowds.
Coming the night after a convention speech that drew mixed reviews, O’Malley’s appearance Wednesday was notable in part because he talked more about himself and his state than in earlier stops this week.
O'Malley, who is widely assumed to be interested in national office in 2016, relayed Maryland’s passage of a same-sex marriage law and its version of the Dream Act, which grants in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrants.
He noted that the state had frozen university tuition for four years in a row and that its public schools have been ranked No. 1 by Education Week magazine for four years as well.
“We didn’t do it by cutting education, of course,” O’Malley told delegates assembled in a tent set up in a hotel parking lot. “We did it by doing things that work.”
O’Malley also mentioned his friendship with former Iowa governor Chet Culver (D), who went with him on a trip to visit U.S. troops in Iraq. And O’Malley relayed that in 1984 and 1988, he spent time in Iowa working for the presidential campaign of Gary Hart.
O’Malley brushed off questions from reporters about his ambitions, saying, “I’m thinking about re-electing Barack Obama president, and that’s all I’m thinking about.”
Speaking later to about two dozen reporters, O’Malley added: “I like Iowa. I know Iowa. ... Iowa’s a great state.”