Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is trying to position himself as an alternative to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. On the stump in Iowa, O'Malley is giving voice to progressive themes popular among energized supporters of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, The Washington Post
reported. Warren has repeatedly insisted that she will not seek the presidency.
In campaign appearances and in an op-ed published in the Des Moines Register
, O'Malley promised that if elected, he would move to dismantle large banks, tighten regulation of Wall Street, expand Social Security benefits, and guarantee women receive equal pay, according to the Post.
"What people are longing for is an understanding of how our economy got to the point where wealth and power are so concentrated in ways it never was before," he said.
In wooing Warren supporters, he also pointed to his progressive record as governor.
During his administration from 2007 to 2015, same-sex marriage was legalized, gun-control tightened, the death penalty repealed, minimum wage increased, and the plight of migrants eased, according to the Post.
O'Malley backs a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, he told the Register.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll
of likely Iowa Democratic caucus participants, showed that while Clinton had 61 percent support, and Warren pulled 19 percent, 84 percent of those surveyed were not sufficiently familiar with O'Malley to form an opinion.
Warren enthusiasts in Iowa appear willing to hear O'Malley's message while not giving up on the Massachusetts senator. Mike Carberry, a Johnson County supervisor and Warren supporter, said O'Malley could become an option if Warren stays out of the race. He liked O'Malley's Wall Street-bashing op-ed. "That was a brilliant move," Carberry told the Post. "I read it. I loved it, and I reposted it on Facebook. To me, that's a good sign."
For the moment, however, Carberry still hopes Warren will run. "I know she's said she wouldn't run, but at first she said she wouldn't run for Senate either," Carberry noted. "So we'll see."
Meanwhile, some Warren supporters have adopted a fallback position and are talking about a draft campaign to make her the party's vice presidential candidate, the Guardian reported.
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