As the Washington Post helpfully points out, it can no longer be considered “too early” for 2016 presidential candidates to announce themselves. Then-freshman Senator Obama launched an exploratory committee in January 2007, and announced his candidacy in February. Hillary Clinton announced her 2008 campaign in January 2007, “intentionally timed ahead of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address”. John McCain started his exploratory committee in November 2006, and held off his announcement till April 2007. Mitt Romney launched his first run in January 2007, formally announced in February, and never really stopped campaigning before reviving his “explorations” in April 2011.
He’s got at least one fervent supporter here, but it looks like Gov. O’Malley will stay on the sidelines with Bernie Sanders until Spring, per the Washington Post:
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s steady march toward a White House bid has turned into a wait-and-see grind, in which he will try to stay relevant in the national political conversation and await an opening to challenge presumed front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
Once he leaves office in January, his associates say, O’Malley may give a handful of policy speeches on national issues. He might make some appearances around the country, and he might look to compile his writings into a book or series of books that reflect his accomplishments as governor and as mayor of Baltimore.
It’s an uncertain and modest to-do list at a time when O’Malley is barely registering in national polls despite years of working to position himself in early nominating states.
Instead of putting pressure on Clinton with a January announcement of his candidacy, those close to him say, O’Malley and his supporters now think their best shot is to sit back and see how Clinton is received. By spring, his advisers say, the appetite for a fresher, more progressive alternative in the Democratic primaries will only have grown….
Yeaaah, that ‘Ralph Nader totally thinks O’Malley should run!’ easter egg is the political version of a flaming paper bag on the doorstep, isn’t it?
… Aides say that O’Malley has not made a final decision about whether he’s running and will not publicly discuss the timing of a potential bid. But short of a major embarrassment, his backers say, it’s hard to see how the exposure that comes with a White House run could hurt his prospects for future opportunities, whether as a vice-presidential nominee, Cabinet member, television commentator — or presidential candidate in 2020 or 2024.
At 51, O’Malley is 16 years younger than Clinton and half a generation removed from other talked-about Democrats, including Vice President Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Virginia senator James Webb…
O’Malley cut his teeth in politics as a young aide to Gary Hart during the 1984 presidential election, in which he was dispatched to Iowa. Several of O’Malley’s biggest boosters are friends from that campaign, in which Hart, a senator from Colorado, came out of nowhere to become a serious threat to Walter Mondale, the former vice president, for the Democratic nomination. (Hart started the 1988 cycle as the Democratic front-runner but was derailed by a sex scandal.)…
And that’s one of the major counter-arguments to O’Malley running in 2016; before he got derailed by his own big mouth, Hart banged up Walter Mondale, who then did not win the presidency in 1984. It’s commonly assumed, after the fact, that no Democrat could’ve run against Ronald Reagan that year and won — especially not one who’d served as Jimmy Carter’s VP — but there were professional Democrats who didn’t exactly thank Hart for all his hard work in the primaries, either. Right now it doesn’t look like the Repubs have a second Reagan waiting in the wings, but in 1983 the “washed-up B-movie actor, former governor of the Nutball State” was not exactly perceived as a globe-bestriding colossus. Teddy Kennedy never got another shot at the Oval Office after he failed to derail Carter, and Hart has been more or less politically invisible since 1984. So O’Malley needs to remember a line from that tv series set in his own Baltimore stomping grounds: “You come at the
king queen, you best not miss.”