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2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign: Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley was a Democratic candidate for President running in the 2016 elections and former governor of Maryland. Born on January 18, 1963 in Washington, DC, O'Malley was raised in an Irish family and is a descendant of a veteran from the War of 1812. O'Malley was raised in the DC area, graduating from Catholic University with an undergraduate degree in 1985, and the University of Maryland in with a law degree in 1988. O'Malley passed the Maryland state bar later that same year.

While in college and law school O'Malley worked for political campaigns including the Gary Hart presidential campaign and Barbara Mikulski's successful first Senate campaign. Senator Mikulski hired him as a legislative fellow following her election, and he worked for her for one year before being hired as as an Assistant State's Attorney in Baltimore City. In 1990 O'Malley ran an unsuccessful campaign for a State Senate seat, in which he was beaten by the incumbent candidate by only 44 votes. After this loss he was elected to the Baltimore City Council, and served in this capacity until 1999. O'Malley announced his intention to run for the Mayor of Baltimore in 1999 after incumbent Kurt Schmoke decided not to seek re-election. With a platfrom based around crime-reduction and the support of key African-American church and community leaders, O'Malley won the primary by a thin margin but went on to win the general election with 90% of the vote. During his first term he focused on crime prevention and lowering homicide rates, utilizing a statistics tracking system known as CitiStat. The program helped Baltimore save millions of dollars and generated the first budget surplus the city had seen in years. O'Malley was named the “Best Young Mayor in the Country” by Esquire Magazine and won re-election with 67% of the primary vote and 87% in 2003's general election.

The Democratic National Committee invited O'Malley to speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, where he argued for the presidential candidacy of John Kerry. He was named one of the “Top 5 Big City Mayors” by Time Magazine in 2005.

Martin O'Malley announced his intent to run for Governor of Maryland in 2006, against incumbent Bob Ehrlich. He won the primary unopposed, was endorsed by the largest local newspaper The Baltimore Sun, and won the primary election against Ehrlich by a margin of 7 percentage points. Ehrlich announced his intention to run against O'Malley again in 2010, but was defeated once more.

O'Malley is in favor of tougher immigration laws, but signed a law as Governor that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition prices for college if certain conditions are met. As Governor O'Malley supported a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland, repealed Maryland's death penalty, and supported tougher gun control laws.

In August 2013 O'Malley announced that he was laying the “framework” for a Presidential run in 2016, but did not officially announce his candidacy until May 30, 2015.

O'Malley suspended his campaign on February 1, 2016, the night of the Iowa caucus, after receiving only 0.6% of the vote.

U.S. - Israel Relationship

  • “I think leaders in both of our countries would be well advised not to get into the electoral politics of the other nation. As close as we are, we would both be well advised to stay out of the internal politics. I think the relationship between the United States and Israel is strong, will remain strong, and must be strong for our own security. But also, we have to continue to wage peace, and in this context, waging peace means pushing for a two-state solution.”
    (The Huffington Post, March 26, 2015)
  • “Israel, I believe, has a right to defend itself. The number of rockets that have been fired at Israel, the tunnels used to attack Israel, all of these things, the basics of border security, need to be addressed here and I hope our country can be a broker for peace and help bring about a resolution.”
    (Fusion News, September 5, 2014)
  • “In this current conflict, the United States stands with its democratic ally Israel in her desire for a lasting peace in the Middle East with secure borders”
    (Statement on Israel and Hamas, December 30, 2008)
  • “As President Kennedy said, Israel 'carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.' Israel's national security is America's national security, and terrorists like Hamas pose a threat not only to Israel, but to free peoples everywhere. We must continue our steadfast, unwavering commitment to Israel's safety, sovereignty, and security”
    (Statement on the Anniversary of Gilad Shalit's Capture, 2011)


  • (Speaking about the final Iran agreement) “The key now is to make sure that it is in fact enforceable, verifiable, tightly monitored, and that we're prepared to snap sanctions back into place in the event that the Iranians were to cheat on this. But I think it holds a lot of promise. And I think this is how an effective foreign policy works, not merely using our military powers, but also our diplomatic. We have to also be about waging peace. And perhaps this deal is that path forward.”
    (Iowa Public Radio, July 30, 2015)
  • “The greatest danger that we face right now on a consistent basis in terms of manmade threats is nuclear Iran and related to that, extremist violence. I don't think you can separate the two. I think they go together. ...In our state, we passed some of the earliest and strongest sanctions against Iranian nuclear development of any state in the union. The goal was to drive the Iranians to the negotiating table. And I think we should support the president in achieving that negotiated settlement. I mean, you see 47 members of the senate writing the letter, it's a sad day for our country. If you hate the president of the United States more than you distrust the ayatollah, then you probably shouldn't be in the United States senate.”
    (ABC News, March 29, 2015)

Hamas and the Situation in Gaza

  • “As Democratic Governors, we stand with Israel, and support the right of the people of Israel to defend themselves and their country from attack - as well as their right to ensure their own security. No country would tolerate continuous rocket attacks, and the destructive actions of Hamas-controlled Gaza only continue to harm and destabilize the region. We are hopeful that today’s cease-fire agreement will bring an end to recent violence, and support President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and their continued efforts working with the international community to ensure a safe, peaceful resolution.”
    (Martin O'Malley's Facebook, November 21, 2012)
  • “Terrorists like Hamas pose a threat not only to Israel, but to free peoples everywhere.”
    (Statement on the Anniversary of Gilad Shalit's Capture, 2011)

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

  • “I condemn all forms of terrorism. In order to move forward towards peace, Abbas and other Palestinian leaders must step up to the plate and condemn these attacks in no uncertain terms.”
    (JewishInsider (October 23, 2015)
  • “Like everyone here, I have been deeply concerned about the recent developments in Jerusalem and cities across Israel and the West Bank. We’ve lost 50 Palestinians in recent violence, many of them teenagers – their entire lives before them. We’ve lost 8 Israelis, including an American couple shot in front of their young children. Some people in this room have family members who’ve been affected, no doubt, some of them for generations... This senseless violence produces nothing but tragedy and more distrust, and it does not move the people and the parties closer to a peaceful and long-lasting resolution. Both sides have to take steps to end this violence and address the underlying cause of it. Both sides have to make the resumption of discussion, talk and dialogue to include a fair, safe and adequate access to sites in Jerusalem and elsewhere. Provocative actions on either side must be avoided.
    (JewishInsider (October 23, 2015)
  • “My heart goes out to the two Israeli citizens held in Gaza, and their families. They should be released immediately and unconditionally.”
    (Martin O'Malley's Twitter, July 9, 2015)
  • “Israel, like every nation, has the right to defend herself and her people from attack. Since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks indiscriminately against civilian targets in Israel. Just as Hamas chose to provoke a military response from Israel with endless rocket attacks, Hamas also has the choice to reject terror and violence with an immediate ceasefire, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and accept the existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinians as they work toward a just and lasting peace.”
    (Statement on Israel and Hamas, December 30, 2008)