Martin O’Malley 2020?

A look at another of the possible 2020 Democratic nomination sweepstakes players….

This would a second run by the former Maryland Governor….

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If you are looking for a recent example of a state where a bunch of Democrats held political power, used that power to pass a bunch of liberal laws, and ended up with their state in a pretty good place, you could do a lot worse than Martin O’Malley’s Maryland.

Under O’Malley, taxes on the rich went up. So did the gasoline tax. The state curtailed gun rights and expanded same-sex marriage rights. It passed a state DREAM Act and capped college tuition increases. Maryland is also the home to a health care cost control policy known as the all-payer rate setting that is generally liberal wonks’ dream. O’Malley expanded mass transit in his state and helped develop an alternative to GDP to measure real progress in living standards. Even a hideously unpopular O’Malley initiative like the so-called “rain tax” on impermeable surfaces was actually a perfectly reasonable idea.

Not only did O’Malley do a lot of liberal stuff, but the outcomes were worth bragging about. Maryland has the highest median household income of any state, the most college graduates, and under O’Malley it had the nation’s best-scoring K-12 students too. Maryland is a bottom 10 state in terms of per capita carbon dioxide emissions. It’s the kind of record that might have made for a good presidential campaign. If the average American were as a rich, educated, green, and healthy as the average Marylander, we’d have made enormous progress as a society.

Nobody cares about Martin O’Malley

Given Maryland’s proximity to Washington, DC, people in national politics have long been familiar with O’Malley and his presidential aspirations, and he’s always been hampered by the (accurate) perception that he’s not an enormously charismatic public speaker. Combine that low-wattage personality with the daunting odds facing any challenger to Hillary Clinton, and it was never especially likely that O’Malley would become the nominee…..