Friday, October 27, 2006

O'Malley: The Ambition Factor

As Marylanders prepare to send Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley to the governor's mansion, they need to realize that the Democrat likely has ambitions beyond the State House. O'Malley is renouned for his "presidential" style and looks. And there are some upcoming opportunities: either as a VP candidate in 2008 or at the top of the ticket in 2012 (assuming a Republican is in the White House).

There's something to be said for the potential. If elected President, O'Malley would have massive resources at his fingertips to benefit the already federal government-dependent Maryland. It would also bring prestige to a state whose last major national politician resigned amid an embarrassing scandal over 33 years ago this month.

The League, however, sees the ambition as a drawback. If O'Malley spends his time as governor eyeing higher office, he may not be willing to take risks. Governor O'Malley may not put his neck on the line and bold decisions if he fears they could come back to haunt him in a national race. Just look at his current campaign: it's been a largely scripted procedure in which the Mayor has been fearful of saying or promising anything that could be destructive to his gubernatorial campaign. If elected, would O'Malley govern in the same timid, cautious way?

It's a possibility that must be seriously considered by voters.

from The League: Reassembled

11 Comments:

Blogger howie said...

Are we to believe that Bob has no ambition? I don't vote again someone on fear that he'll leave or that his ambition will cause him to ineffective in the job for which he is running.

Even if one believes Ehrlich to have had an effective first term-I don't-who can say with certainty that he won't be negatively impacted by his own ambition, his knowledge that he is term limited and can do what the heck he pleases, or by his need to establish his legacy?

There are always outside influences when one elects any human being.

There is nothing in O'Malley's history that states that he won't be aggressive in the office should he win. The Post article today talked of the enemies he has made. He didn't make them because he was cautious and trying too hard to be liked.

BTW, Ehrlich used the ambition for higher office theme against KKT four years ago as well. Then, he used it to rally the base and raise funds. "Help me stop another Kennedy from reaching the White House!", the letter said.

I think that allowing the GOP to become the controlling party in this state is a much greater danger than Martin's career goals.

10/27/2006 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger howie said...

Lousy brain!

Please read that second sentence as:

I don't vote again[st] someone on fear that he'll leave or that his ambition will cause him to [be] ineffective in the job for which he is running.

10/27/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger MDHawk said...

I have heard this argument and I find it ridiculous. First off, O'Malley has never stated such ambitions publicly, that I have heard. It's only been attributed to him by other people, i.e., "he looks Presidential" as the post points out.

Second, if it is true, so what. As Mayor he has taken tremendous risks to try and improve a city and administration that he inherited.

You think CityStat was not a risk, or his crime initiatives, or his attempt to bring investment back into the city. The WashingtonPost pointed out today how he has made enemies during his political assent, and all of them as a result of his risk-taking im improving Baltimore for the people who live there.

If anything, ambition is an impitus to be an aggressive, risk-taking manager to tries to accomplish as much as possible in as little time as possible.

10/27/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Dray said...

I respectfully submit that The League has taken leave of its senses, but it's nothing that some bedrest and stepping away from Republican talking points won't cure.

What Democrats don't need is yet another politician who hasn't the inner fire for national office. Love Ben Cardin as I do, he'll never be President. Neither will Barb Mikulski. We absolutely need leaders who keep their eye on the national, as well as the local, picture.

Ambition will make O'Malley work hard to impress. And what's good for this country is likely to be good for Maryland too.

The GOP loves this type of naval gazing, seriously folks.

10/27/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger howie said...

"The GOP loves this type of naval gazing, seriously folks."

Amen.

It's amazing. The GOP creates a talking point and we sit here being miserable about it. The GOPers who post on various websites still chortle and guarantee victory despite no positive polling and we act as though Ehrlich and Steele have already won.

Both these races are going to be fights to the end because the GOP knows how to close AND because we always help them.

10/27/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger The Baltimore Cynic said...

"I have heard this argument and I find it ridiculous. First off, O'Malley has never stated such ambitions publicly, that I have heard."

The same way that O'M didn't mention his ambition to run for Governor yet everyone knew this day was coming?

I have no doubt that if The Hill was the path to the White House then he'd be running to become Senator O'Malley.** This guy's an opportunist and doesn't care about anything but himself and his monumental ego. And having a few folks connected to Baltimore City Politics (both in and out of City Hall), I can say this with confidence.

If O'Malley wins, we'll get fed a cornucopia of 'presidential' statements and no substance beyond taxation and a Democratic run madhouse that is annapolis. If Ehrlich Wins? Maybe he'll run for higher office - but at least there won't be as much bad law coming from a rubber stamp legislature and governor's office.

-TBC

**Thanks, Maryland Conservatarian!

10/27/2006 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger howie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/28/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger howie said...

TBC-

Your entire post sums up my feeling about Gov. Ehrlich, save the rubber stamp stuff. Add his constant need to be stroked by fawning talk radio supporters (and to punish anyone who won't fawn both personally and professionally) and you've got quite a psychological profile.

Most politicians yearn for higher office, why would either of these guys be any different? That ambition is only associated with one of them is a testament to the Republican spin machine.

Bob is a lazy governor who won't do the work to get anything passed. He'd rather whine and play the victim. Trappings, rather than accomplishment, seem to be the whole point to his "leadership".

The Assembly was never a rubber stamp for Parris; their egos are large as well. I have no doubt that there will still be battles fought.

BTW, thanks for saying "democratic" istead of the usual Republican slur.

10/28/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Stephanie Dray said...

O'Malley cares about a lot more than himself.

One of the reasons I adore him is because he is running out of a sense of deep discontent. One gets the distinct impression that if he could do it, and get away with it, he would punch George Bush in the mouth. And since that's how I've felt for the past six years, that resonates with me.

He's running because he can't stand the status quo. Won't stand for it. Won't take it lying down.

And if he has to run for every office in Maryland to fix it, I'll vote for him every time.

10/28/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger The League: Reassembled said...

The League is deeply insulted by the insinuation that our opinions are packaged and delivered to us by the Republican spin machine. It doesn't take long to check out our thousands of previous posts to learn that we are certinaly no fans of the GOP. That said, we don't allow our partisanship to prevent us from agreeing with a point of view simply because it is shared by the Republican Party.

Why not? Because we put our ideologies second and our city first. While on the The League Vintage Tour (available at www.leaguereassembled.net, you would also see that we are ferociously protective of Baltimore. "O'Malley: The Ambition Factor" vents the resentment that our Mayor is willing to leave Baltimore behind on his quest for higher office.

10/30/2006 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger The Baltimore Cynic said...

Howie,

I think what you said about Ehrlich whining is ironic because I think the same thing about O'Malley. Unfortunately, over the years he's been Mayor, he has repeatedly failed to accept responsibility for the issues of the city, opting to blame anyone but himself. This is not the indication of a good leader. Crime, education, you name it. Only a fool would assert this is completely his fault, but to spend more time mugging for the camera instead of finding solutions is a problem. If he becomes governor, you can BELIEVE that will happen on an unprecedented scale while he stares longingly at the White House.

As for the legislation issue, the fact of the matter is this: When you have a unilaterally controlled government, lots of bad law can be passed (we can look to capital hill right now for an example of this, and didn't Parris have issues with this at times as well?). For all of his issues, Ehrlich has been forced to move to the center whether he likes it or not to accomplish anything here. If you get O'Malley, that bargaining process won't be there, and a lot of residents of the state will be screwed by extension.

Stephanie - have you lived in baltimore for very long if at all? I'm not saying this to insult your insights, but i'm curious because I suspect we are living in two different neighborhoods if so. I've been here for 24 years and if I had to describe O'M in two words I would say he is status quo to a T. If anything, the largest work he's done has been on a very cosmetic level - such as BELIEVE and even 'Get in on it' . These approaches haven't fixed the places where help is needed the most. And he has the audacity to think that what he has done entitles him to run an entire state? Give me a break.

As for the George Bush thing - I think a lot of people, both left and right wing, are fed up with Bush's politics. But he isn't Governor of Maryland and certainly hasn't run Baltimore. So his stance on Dubya doesn't matter to me. What does is what's happening here, and how my hometown is. That being said, O'Malley's done little more than watched this town burn while he plucked at a Guitar. I cannot forgive him for this, and he will not receive my support for this or any election.

With less than a week to go, I look forward to hearing your thoughts...

-TBC

11/01/2006 05:00:00 PM  

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