The Fine Print
If Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland has his way, not only will he be a Democratic candidate for president in 2016, but he could even be the opening act for his own campaign rallies.
When asked about his own presidential ambitions, O’Malley was upfront in acknowledging that he’s considering a 2016 presidential bid: “I've made no secret about the fact that I'm looking at it.”
While all eyes are currently focused on Hillary Clinton as speculation swirls that the former secretary of state will run in 2016, O’Malley said he doesn’t feel intimidated by the prospect of running against the already well-oiled Clinton campaign machine.
“I really don't look at it that way,” he said. “But I really look at this journey as a search for the best way forward for our country.”
Long before he took to the political stage, O’Malley became well-acquainted with the musical stage as the lead singer of an Irish music band that bears his name, “O’Malley’s March.” Still active in the band today, O’Malley sat down with the “The Fine Print” backstage before a St. Patrick’s-themed concert.
“The band started, I suppose, back when I was in high school,” O’Malley said. “I was 16 or 17, and at the time, in the area, there were about seven Irish bars and only about two full-time Irish bands. So we hit the supply demand curve just at the right time.”
O’Malley, who plays the guitar and banjo in addition to singing, described his role in the band as “totally different” from his role as governor, but, in one respect, he said the two roles are similar.
“The other guys in the band are the real musicians, and so if you surround yourself with really strong musicians, anything is possible,” he said. “And, in that sense, it's similar to governing. If you surround yourself with people that are actually really good at doing what they do, then that makes the whole effort move forward.”
It seems O’Malley has managed to do just that. The governor can tout a successful legislative agenda on a number of progressive issues in Maryland, from the legalization of same-sex marriage to increasing the minimum wage. Those issues fit in with O’Malley’s vision for what the Democratic Party stands.
“We are not the party that wants to roll back the clock, that wants to go backwards,” he said. “We're a party that embraces the future and looks forward to the new day.”
If O’Malley does run for president he will have to decide whether to take the band on the trail with him, since he could presumably be the opening act for his own campaign rallies.
“I haven't thought that far down the road,” O’Malley said. “The band's never played at a campaign rally. I used to play a lot more as mayor. You could always be at any black tie event and still make downbeat by 10 p.m.”
For more of the interview with O’Malley, including how he explains President Obama’s low approval ratings and how it affects the Democrats’ efforts in 2016, check out this episode of “The Fine Print.”
ABC News’ Alexandra Dukakis, Tom Thornton, Brian Haefeli and Pat Glass contributed to this episode.