During appearances in New Hampshire and Kansas, former Maryland Democrat Gov. Martin O'Malley was wearing kid gloves when it came to challenging the as-yet-unannounced but all-but-guaranteed presidential candidacy of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
While controversies over her use of her private email account during her term as secretary of state, and the Clinton Foundation's receipt of donations from foreign countries during her tenure, are chipping chinks in her campaign plans, O'Malley seems less than anxious to tackle the Clinton juggernaut head-on, The Washington Post reports
O'Malley, former mayor of Baltimore and Maryland governor from 2007-2015, ducked questions on the Clinton controversies, saying only that he is not familiar with "the rules that govern the email procedures on the federal level" and would leave the Clinton-judging to others, the Post reported.
In a meeting with 10 Democratic senators in New Hampshire, where the Clinton scandals were the topic of conversation, O'Malley again kept his opinions to himself.
"The governor was just listening at that point," Sen. Lou D'Allesandro said. "The world of 24/7 news is upon us. If these things move, you've got to move with them. You have to be straightforward with the press, and you have to address the news of the day," D'Allesandro told the Post.
Instead, O'Malley stressed his support for driver's licenses for "not-yet-naturalized citizens so they can drive safely to and from work and get insurance," the Post said.
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O'Malley said, "I like Hillary Clinton. I respect Secretary Clinton. I am not here to talk about Secretary Clinton," Fox News reported
O'Malley's bid, if indeed he chooses to run, is a long shot at best, with Real Clear Politics' roundup of polls
showing him at 1.2 percent, in sixth place well behind first-place Clinton, at 57.3 percent. Her closest competition in the poll, Vice President Joe Biden, comes in at just 12.8 percent.
O'Malley stressed his support for reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which separated commercial and private banking, a position another potential Clinton challenger, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has supported. President Bill Clinton supported the 1999 repeal of the act, and Mrs. Clinton's closeness to Wall Street has opened her to criticism, The Huffington Post notes
Matt Keelen of The Keelen Group, a lobbying firm, agreed that O'Malley's candidacy is a long shot, Fox News reported
However, he added: "With the Clintons, the song remains the same — one scandal after another. As soon as she [Clinton] has to start answering these questions, to a candidate running at her from the left, I think she's susceptible to being thrown off her game and having to move to the left, which is going to weaken her for the general [election].
"For anyone to think she's out of the woods yet in even the Democratic primary, that's premature."
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