Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but the answer is already pretty clear. Here are 10 signs that O'Malley is running:
1) During one of a series of conference calls Thursday night, O’Malley directed former staffers to a Web site -- www.omalleyannouncement.com -- where people can sign up to attend his May 30 announcement in Baltimore. A line at the bottom of the page says the site is "Paid for by O’Malley for President.”
2) O’Malley aides put out word that he has leased 7,200 square feet of office space -- the right size to lunch an insurgent campaign -- in Baltimore near Penn Station, the city’s rail hub. Promoting a Baltimore Sun story about the move on Twitter, O’Malley communications maven Lis Smith, currently a New York resident, wrote, “Baltimore, here we come.”
3) Several aides now employed by O’Malley’s political action committee have been looking for places to live in Baltimore.
4) In another conference call Thursday night, O’Malley aides outlined plans to begin fundraising for a federal committee, i.e. one that could be used to pay for a presidential bid. O'Malley has been using a political action committee to fund his activities, which will no longer be legal once he is officially a candidate.
5) During the call, aides advertised a working lunch on May 21 where supporters can help O’Malley dial for dollars. They emphasized the need to make a good financial showing before a June 30 reporting deadline.
6) Supporters on the conference call were told of two key members of O’Malley’s financial team: Terry Lierman, a former Maryland Democratic Party chairman, as treasurer; and Martin Knott, a Baltimore-area businessman, as finance chairman.
7) O’Malley has further expanded his press staff in recent days. A tweet sent out by Smith earlier this week announcing the latest two hires -- both females -- referred to O’Malley’s “#ladyboss press team.”
8) Last week, O’Malley’s PAC announced the addition of its latest high-profile member: national political director Karine Jean-Pierre.
9) O’Malley, joined by Jean-Pierre and other aides, made a daylong swing Wednesday through New Hampshire, the nation’s first presidential primary state.
10) O’Malley's entourage that day included media consultant Jimmy Siegel and a camera crew. Siegel, who worked for Hillary Rodham Clinton during the 2008 presidential cycle, specializes in campaign-style videos.
Of course, there's always the possibility that all of this could be for naught. As longtime O’Malley watchers may recall, in 2002, when he was mayor of Baltimore, O’Malley held a press conference to announce he would NOT run for governor that year, avoiding a primary fight with well-known Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
As one longtime O’Malley associate put it Thursday, however, “there’s a different vibe this time.” Look for an email from O’Malley for confirmation.