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Joseph Kaminski

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October 14, 2019

Martin O’Malley: “Can I Debate, Too?”

Former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley has had a pretty pathetic campaign comparative to such charismatic personalities belonging to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. A bit of a “nobody cares” candidate, O’Malley replaced Chafee as the George Pataki of the Democratic Party. But, unlike Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley just won’t quit. 

Martin O'Malley Debate

Martin O’Malley

To put it simply, O’Malley just can’t drum up any attention. He has no buzz, no real foundation in public opinion, and no real business running in a race dominated by two incredibly charismatic performers. On one hand, there’s former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — whether you like her or not, you have to admit she’s capable of swaying voters with her style of campaigning. People cheer her name, and all she ever has to say is “women”. On the other hand, there’s Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the grassroots underdog that’s managed to bring massive crowds to become a bit of an Internet sensation.

That leaves Martin O’Malley, the plastic looking, somewhat shadow of a candidate that can’t turn heads. With charismatic woman dominating the news and a personality such as Sanders bringing in the crowds, Martin O’Malley really has no chance — or business — in this election.

Now, I’m not saying a candidate can’t fight against the odds. Oftentimes we’ve seen rather bland candidates (comparative to their opponents) take the nomination. But that’s when they at least poll relatively high somewhere and turn heads at the proper moment.

And let’s face it, Martin O’Malley can’t turn heads.

He’s failed horrendously at each debate. In the second debate, he attempted to trash both Clinton and Sanders on their gun positions. This resulted in a tag team, with the two major candidates working together to put him back in his place. Most of what O’Malley claimed was simply yellow journalism, a half-baked attempt to look better in a single category than the others. He quickly backed down, his mouth stuck in a plastered, fake smile. He did not speak again that debate.

Now we reach the other day’s third and final Democratic debate before what sets the bar: the first primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. O’Malley had a chance to shine, maybe steal some limelight from Clinton and Sanders. He could have presented a foundation, set his standards, even say something that could drag a few votes away from the dominant personalities in the race. But no. He didn’t. What did O’Malley do?

Absolutely nothing.

He was ignored. Completely. The moderators asked him all of three questions, with the rest of the two hours belonging to Sanders and Clinton. At one point, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked three or four questions in a row. She was prompted to “give a thirty second response” for the umpteenth time. Martin O’Malley desperately interrupted, pathetically whining “can I get thirty seconds, too?”

Of course, the audience roared in laughter. The moderators literally ignored him. Clinton and Sanders found it difficult to not smile.

Let me just say Lester Holt and Andrea Mitchell were the absolute WORST moderators I’ve ever seen in a Democratic debate. “Thirty seconds” turned into “three solid minutes and we’ll let you get louder and ignore us when we repeatedly tell you time’s up”. Lester Holt held a bit of a pompous attitude, literally ignoring O’Malley time and time again. Andrea Mitchell had no idea what she was doing, giving off a Blitzer-styled robotic, empty stare. Sanders shut her down after she asked him a bullshit question on Bill Clinton (and showed how she didn’t know the difference between a Govenor and a Senator).

And, of course, Chuck Todd randomly popped his face in every commercial break. He soothed the audience with his uninteresting opinions and his charisma, which equals to about the same as a spoonful of honey mustard mixed with mayonnaise.

But, regardless. The debate continued.

Before the first segment of the debate ended, Clinton and Sanders has dominated. O’Malley hadn’t been asked a single question. While Lester Holt ignorantly pressed on with his pre-written speech, O’Malley begged for “Just ten seconds!” before he was cut off by a commercial break.

Begging, rather desperately, for ten seconds and being cut off by a commercial break while the moderators ignored him was literally the perfect metaphor for his entire campaign.

Dude. When even the shittiest moderators and anchors at MSNBC and MBC completely ignore your joke of campaign (you managed to get 1 person to show up at your rally at one point), it’s time to drop out. You can’t win against the personality powerhouses of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee understood that. Why can’t you?

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