O’Malley: End Coming?

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No glee here at all, but Martin O’Malley is running out of money. It’s too bad his solid debate performances didn’t come before Bernie Sanders’ meteoric rise, which sucked all the air out of the “not Hillary Clinton” camp.

With barely 10 weeks before Democrats start picking their presidential nominee, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley’s campaign is perilously close to financial collapse.

The Democratic hopeful this week began asking the roughly 30 staffers at his Baltimore headquarters to redeploy to Iowa and elsewhere, a tacit acknowledgment that he will need a surprisingly strong showing in the first caucus state to stay in the race.

And the campaign is now planning to seek public matching funds, a move that could help pay bills in the short term but undercut the candidate’s ability to compete once the voting begins. In recent cycles, major candidates have opted out of the antiquated matching system because it imposes state-by-state spending caps now considered impractical.

I’m not shoveling dirt on the grave, but let’s assume that the death spiral has begun and speculate a little.

O’Malley will be 53 years old in January. He’s run a good campaign that never took off, but he never embarrassed himself or attacked other candidates in an insulting way. If he wants to run again in four or eight years, he will be in a good position, and his run this year will have added to his credibility.

The question on the table is - what to do while he waits? He has to find a gig that is reasonably well-paying, but if he wants to continue to task to the left as he has most recently and effectively, a business job is the wrong way to go.

If he can get a Cabinet position in a Clinton administration, that would be ideal. And if (I said if!) Ben Cardin decides to retire in 2018, O’Malley would be a formidable candidate back at home. But unlike Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee, I’m pretty sure we haven’t heard the last of Martin O’Malley.

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