Martin O’Malley keeping the focus on other Democrats, for now

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“Are you excited to have someone to rally around to send to Des Moines?” former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley asked a packed room in Clive at the February 12 kickoff for Kenan Judge‘s candidacy in Iowa House district 44. The past and probably future presidential candidate said nothing about his own record during his brief remarks. Later, he explained why he will devote much of 2018 to campaigning for other Democrats. As a presidential candidate, O’Malley gave hundreds of stump speeches during dozens of Iowa visits before the 2016 caucuses. After ending that bid, he returned to Iowa several times to support Hillary Clinton, and since the 2016 election he has stumped for legislative candidates Monica Kurth and Jim Lykam. He endorsed State Senator Nate Bolton’s campaign for governor last September. (Boulton had backed O’Malley before the 2016 caucuses.) The former governor’s latest Iowa visit also includes policy-oriented discussions about water quality and climate change on the Grandview and Drake University campuses. Supporting down-ballot candidates is not new; O’Malley headlined events for some Iowa Democrats during the 2014 cycle. But he is putting more resources behind such efforts in 2018. In addition, I was struck by how little he said about his own work during his appearance at Rookie’s in Clive on February 12. For those who want to listen, here’s the audio clip of former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge, O’Malley, and House candidate Kenan Judge speaking to local Democrats. /static/media/2018/02/131116_001.mp3 O’Malley joked that he has “frequent flyer miles” for Dallas County, having held an event in practically every bar there before the caucuses. He also acknowledged longtime friends and local Democratic leaders before getting to the heart of his short speech, starting around the 5:30 mark. My transcript: So let’s, very briefly–my wife Katie asked me, “Why

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