O'Malley: Not so fast, Dems. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, whose 2016 presidential ambitions have been written off by many Washington pundits, pushed back Thursday against the notion that Hillary Rodham Clinton is the inevitable Democratic nominee.

“People inside the Beltway are usually the last people to know when something is happening in Iowa or in New Hampshire,” O’Malley said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” suggesting that he believes he would get a close look from party activists if he decides to move forward with a bid.

“People in those early states take their vote very, very seriously,” O’Malley said. “They consider themselves to be the talent scouts, if you will, in making that first decision about what our choices are.”

Pressed about a New York Times story suggesting that Democrats see no alternatives to Clinton, O’Malley, who’s barely registered in early polling, conceded “maybe that’s the way it is today.”

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