It seems that some of the other Democratic hopefuls are now waking up and taking shots, albeit lightly, at Hillary Clinton. Former Maryland Governor Matin O’Malley, long rumored to be interested in launching a 2016 presidential campaign, appears ready to begin marking a run for the nomination.
Report from the New York Times:
Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor who is likely to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, took a veiled shot at a potential rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a speech in South Carolina on Saturday, criticizing the politics of “triangulation” that have historically been associated with the Clintons.
“The most fundamental power of our party and our country is the power of our moral principles,” Mr. O’Malley said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by an aide.
In words that echoed those of Senator Barack Obama when he battled Mrs. Clinton in 2007 for the Democratic nomination, Mr. O’Malley added: “Triangulation is not a strategy that will move America forward. History celebrates profiles in courage, not profiles in convenience.” [Emphasis added]
Mr. O’Malley’s comments came at the Democratic Party’s John Spratt Issues Conference in Myrtle Beach, and South Carolina is a crucial early primary state that Mrs. Clinton lost to Mr. Obama. Mr. O’Malley has in the past declined to contrast himself with Mrs. Clinton.
Some Democrats hope Mrs. Clinton will face a strong primary challenge, worrying that without one she might be unresponsive to some progressives.
The remarks from Mr. O’Malley, who is viewed as facing an uphill battle, signaled a new phase both of his own efforts, after a year of saying he was not in “compare-contrast” mode with Mrs. Clinton, and of the early 2016 campaign.
The longer Hillary waits in declaring her candidacy, the more likely one of these other candidates will be able to get a little traction and begin to cause her headaches. Why not take this opportunity and use the vacuum on the Democratic side to get some time in the media? Hillary’s gone largely silent so anything another candidate says will end up in the news.
All that O’Malley, or the others, has to do is plant the seeds of doubt in the minds of Democratic primary voters that Hillary Clinton is a bad or flawed candidate for 2016. She’s got support, but this will begin to test how deep that support actually runs.