If we’re judging the Democratic campaigns on the quality of the candidates’ presentation, debate performances, work ethic, and consistent message on issues and policy, Martin O’Malley should have been making a prime time speech last night. The fact that he wasn’t was largely set in stone when O’Malley and Bernie Sanders entered the race at the same time, and Sanders almost immediately caught fire, capturing the imagination of the anti-Clinton left. Had O’Malley entered the race a few months earlier and begun building his brand before Bernie arrived on the scene, it might well have gone differently. Things like that happen - like one candidate winning all six coin flips in Iowa last night, which accounted for a big chunk of the tiny Clinton margin of victory.
But back to O’Malley. He acquitted himself honorably and well in this race, and he - and his many Maryland supporters - should be very proud of what they did and how they did it. O’Malley sent out an email last night, and in case you haven’t seen it, here it is in full.
I wanted you to be first to know: tonight, I am suspending my campaign for the presidency.
Iowa has been like a second home for me this past year. From college campuses to family farms, I have had the privilege of getting to know Iowans whose passion for our democracy is unmatched.
I want to thank everyone who came out to our events, and lent me their ear. Everyone who went out to caucus for me tonight, and lent me their voice. I give you my deepest gratitude.
Together we all stood up for working people, for new Americans, for the future of the Earth and the safety of our children. We put these issues at the front of our party’s agenda—these are the issues that serve the best interests of our nation.
The road has been long, but our course has been true. A great many people have put their time and talents into my campaign and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.
Whoever our nominee is, we must all hold strong, together.
You and I, must hold strong for that mom and dad who are working 3 jobs between them and sweating about how they’re going to pay the bills.
We must hold strong for the future of all of America’s children—black and white—for a country with equal justice under the law and equal opportunity for all.
We must hold strong for our senior citizens who have given their all for our country and are left now to choose between food and medicine.
We must hold strong for Latinos and Muslims and everyone defending us against the demagogues.
We must hold strong for the future of Americas cities home of our greatest challenges and greatest opportunities.
We must hold strong to our beliefs. A belief in the dignity of every person. A belief in our own responsibility to advance the common good we share. We all must hold strong to what this country truly is, can be, and should be, and must be.
Thank you for your support,