sábado, 14 de julio de 2012

16: O'Malley, el más entusiasta valedor de Obama

Mientras potenciales rivales como Hillary Clinton y Andrew Cuomo se mantienen al margen de la campaña de reelección de Obama, conservando cierto grado de independencia, probablemente porque ya cuentan con potentes maquinarias políticas propias, el Gobernador Martin O'Malley, de Maryland, está utilizando su posición de presidente de la Asociación de Gobernadores Demócratas (DGA), no solo para obtener publicidad nacional, sino para implicarse más que nadie (a excepción de Biden) en la operación política de Obama. Con un historial pragmático pero una retórica cada vez más partidista, se diría que O'Malley busca presentarse ante las huestes obamistas como una especie de heredero natural del Presidente.


In a campaign season that seems like one endless political brawl, the Democratic governor of Maryland has emerged as perhaps the sharpest-tongued, most enthusiastic and aggressive advocate for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.

Midway through his second term and as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, O’Malley has toured the 2012 swing states — and hit the TV sets of Washington, D.C., and New York — cheerfully lacing into the Republican Party and its presumptive presidential nominee. As ringleader of his party’s governors, O’Malley’s front-and-center at the National Governors Association meeting this weekend in Williamsburg, Va., in the latest event that marks his arrival as a Democratic leader.

O’Malley’s growing prominence consistently fuels speculation about the possibility of a presidential run in 2016. For now, he’s as furiously engaged in the 2012 battle as any Democratic governor, taking the fight to Mitt Romney in slashing terms.

Hours after the Obama campaign began attacking Romney last month for his connections to outsourcing, O’Malley declared in a Bloomberg TV interview that the Republican “stands up in front of factory gates and cries crocodile tears” for the American worker. On a conference call about health care, O’Malley charged that the “only health care mandate [Republicans] can embrace are transvaginal probes for women” — a reference to an anti-abortion proposal in neighboring Virginia and a slap at fellow Gov. Bob McDonnell.

The former Baltimore mayor has taken his show on the road. In a speech to New Hampshire Democrats, he pinned blame for D.C. gridlock on the Republican “constipation Congress.” During the Wisconsin recall fight last month, O’Malley was on the ground there as DGA chair while other national party leaders — including Obama — shied away from the race.

(...) In 2012, O’Malley slings the kind of rhetoric that pleases the Democratic base. At times, he cuts the figure of an old-school Democratic pol — a former big-city mayor from the East Coast with a photo of JFK and a portrait of the Irish revolutionary Michael Collins in his office.

But not all that long ago, he was also a favorite of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council who endorsed Hillary Clinton, not Obama, during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries.

His Maryland record is in line with center-left Democratic policies, as he signed a law to legalize same-sex marriage, increased taxes to close a budget deficit, worked to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and repeatedly advocated for new education and transit spending. Yet there’s a technocratic strain that runs through his career, starting with the CitiStat data-tracking program he implemented in Baltimore to monitor government services and hold public employees accountable.

“He’s practical, more than anything,” said Peter O’Malley, the governor’s younger brother and a longtime political adviser. “He’s very driven and he always has been, whether it’s what he was doing in high school or in college. It’s just the way he is. It’s the way he’s put together.”

(...) And Democrats who have known O’Malley even longer say the ultra-intense and plainly partisan approach isn’t an entirely novel one for him.
New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who worked with O’Malley in his days as a young staffer on Gary Hart’s 1984 campaign, said the governor’s Maryland record allows him to “speak very distinctly to what a difference it makes to have the president’s policies versus Gov. Romney’s policies.”

“He’s doing what you would expect him to do as a surrogate for the president,” Shaheen said, recalling her impression of O’Malley from the ’80s: “He was doing field at the time, as I recall, and was always able to get along very well with people. He was able to get people excited about whatever he was trying to persuade people. That hasn’t changed.”

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a national co-chair of Obama’s campaign also known for his way around a political barb, calls O’Malley a kindred spirit with whom he’s “totally in sync in terms of policy.”

“I think he has an incredible future in terms of influencing the Democratic Party’s agenda and I feel good about that,” Strickland said. “I think he could very well be president someday.”

That possibility is an inevitable subtext to everything O’Malley does this year. With many Democratic governors keeping their heads down this year and other rising stars plowed under in the 2010 Republican wave, O’Malley has a degree of running room that the governorship in the heavily Democratic state of Maryland doesn’t usually afford.

And the other Democrats frequently mentioned in connection with 2016 are, for a variety of reasons, mostly unavailable these days. Clinton is secretary of State. Cuomo seldom ventures outside New York state. Liberal wish-list candidate Elizabeth Warren has a Senate race to worry about.

O’Malley, on the other hand, is very much in the thick of 2012.

The governor glides over speculation about his own political future, but there’s no question that he’s amassing chits among national Democrats through his DGA work and support for Obama. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka cited O’Malley’s service to Democratic governors and his support for a state-level DREAM act among the accomplishments that rank him high on labor’s list of favorites.

2 comentarios:

Half Nelson dijo...

No está mal pensada la jugada, solo arriesgada. Si Obama gana y, como cabe suponer, en cinco años toca ciclo económicamente positivo, presentarse como continuidad puede ser rentable. Eso sí, de ser él no querría que me hablasen del cuento de la lechera!

Antxon Garrogerrikabeitia dijo...

Hillary tiene una vasta red política nacional. Cuomo tiene el Partido Demócrata de NY, con todo lo que eso supone (allí está el dinero, allí está la prensa). O'Malley sin embargo de momento no tiene una maquinaria política importante detrás, así que no le viene mal hacerse un buen nombre entre el equipo de Obama.

Claro que le puede pasar por ejemplo lo que le pasó a Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty fue una de las pocas buenas noticias para los republicanos en 2006, cuando ganó una reelección difícil en un año difícil para su partido. O'Malley está donde está ahora, presidiendo la asociación de gobernadores demócratas, porque fue uno de los pcoos gobernadores demócratas que lograron imponerse en una reelección difícil en un año difícil como 2010. Pawlenty fue uno de los gobernadores más cercanos, si no el que más, a la campaña de McCain en 2008. Igual que O'Malley es uno de los más implicados en la campaña de Obama este año. Aquello le permitió a Pawlenty formar un buen equipo para su campaña de este año, rodeandose de gente creíble, muchos que estuvieron en Team McCain hace cuatro años. Sin embargo poco pudo hacer frente a un candidato que ya se había presentado antes y tenía una red política nacional (Romney) y un Gobernador de un estado grande repleto de grandes donantes (Perry). O'Malley puede hacer contactos, puede rodearse en 2016 de algunos veteranos de las campañas de Obama, pero frente a dos pesos pesados como Hillary y Cuomo (que son a día de hoy los que más proyección pueden tener), lo tendría muy complicado.

En los años en que no hay un Presidente que se presenta a la reelección, tienden a presentarse demasiados candidatos, por estar aparentemente la elección más abierta. Así que para O'Malley tal vez sería mejor escenario que en 2016 el Presidente Romney, hiperfinanciado, se presentara a la reelección, y que algunos demócratas importantes, como Cuomo, decidieran no presentarse ese año, pensando que en 2020 tendrían el camino más libre. En ese caso un candidato más desconocido como O'Malley podría encontrar más espacio, y podría heredar el equipo de Obama porque en la derrota es donde realmente se valora quién ha sido leal y quién no lo ha sido. Y si Obama pierde y ven que este hombre ha estado realmente comprometido con su reelección, y no así otros demócratas, puede serle más fácil empezar a trabajar desde ya mismo con ese equipo que se quedaría en el paro a finales de este año. En cambio, en la victoria, igual se olvidan de ti.