“He ran an energetic and honorable campaign – leading the field with the most bold progressive policy proposals, and he successfully pushed the other candidates on gun safety, immigration, and climate policy,” sources said.
During the eight months of his candidacy, O’Malley was never able to find his own lane within the Democratic race and stayed in single digits nationally and in Iowa.
Early on, many pundits believed O’Malley would eventually hit a break and emerge as the progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton. He tried to emphasize his youth, executive experience, and depth of knowledge on the issues, but nothing seemed to resonate with voters.
But unlike Sanders, O’Malley had a Super PAC and did not come across as authentic and passionate as Sanders did with progressive voters.
The riots and racial unrest that exploded in O’Malley’s city of Baltimore just weeks before he announced his presidential bid also seriously hampered his run and put his executive credentials into question. Protesters with the Black Lives Matter movement disrupted his campaign launch in Baltimore and several other events throughout his campaign.
O’Malley did receive accolades from Latino voters for his comprehensive immigration reform ideas and progressive promises to offer asylum and refugee to unaccompanied minors and others fleeing violence in Central America. He drew big applause lines on the trail when he compared Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s language to fascism.
“Trump says we should be monitoring everyone of the Muslim faith … Let me ask you this. Who is next? Catholics? Trade unionists? Artists? We’ve seen this road before, and it does not lead to a good place,” O’Malley told a crowd of Democrats in New Hampshire in June. “Panic and political opportunism are a toxic mix — a mix that can often precede fascism or the plunging of our republic into a security state.”