Right Turn is on vacation, but we’re taking time to look at the challenges facing candidates likely to run for president in 2016. We’ve looked at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but there may also be a contest in the Democratic Party, especially if President Obama’s foreign policy disasters and her own political limitations continue to plague prohibitive frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Today we’ll look at Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who seems at this point the liberal most likely to challenge Clinton from the left.
That will mean:
1. Re-running the 2008 campaign, this time citing Clinton’s preferences for military action in Libya and Syria.
2. Casting Clinton as a pawn of big business. That’s not too difficult, given her “broke” gaffes and continually feeding at the Wall Street trough — not to mention charging outrageous speaking fees.
3. Arguing that lack of executive experience and toughness – not ideology – was the Obama administration’s biggest shortcoming. In this regard, O’Malley will be using the same data points in finding fault with Clinton’s State Department management.
4. Styling himself as the candidate for taxing the rich and leveling the playing field for the poor. (Remember this is a fight for the hearts of Democratic primary voters.)
5. Offering what the liberal base really wanted on health-care reform – a single-payer system. He doesn’t need to defend an unpopular plan; he can promise something better and lambaste Clinton for backing a halfway measure that had huge rollout problems.
6. Presenting himself as leading and not following on hot-button issues such as gay marriage, gun control and abortion rights.
7. Castigating Clinton’s “send them home” stance on children surging toward the border. O’Malley has already sounded a more empathetic tone.
8. Acknowledging Clinton fatigue and the desire for a new, exciting liberal, not a retread of the 1990s.
9. Adopting the role of the scrappy underdog against the Clinton machine and inevitability myth. She’ll come with an entourage; he should carry his own suitcase. Accessibility for the press and their desire to have a competitive race may earn him favorable coverage.
10. Highlighting Clinton’s opportunism and lack of strong principles. This is a slam dunk, and using her own words against her will be simple.