When Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton sought the Democratic nomination for president in 1992, he interrupted his campaigning to return home to witness an execution in his state, and thus underscore the point he was tough on crime.
By contrast, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley won widespread applause last week among fellow Democrats when he signed a repeal of the death penalty in the Free State.
In signing the repeal, possible 2016 presidential hopeful O’Malley made Maryland the sixth state in as many years to outlaw capital punishment, and the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line in 50 years to do so.
Noting the contrast between Clinton in 1992 and O’Malley today, NAACP President Ben Jealous told reporters: “Our governor has also just redefined what it means to have a political future in this country.”
John Gizzi is a special columnist for Newsmax.com.
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