The former governor of Maryland- Democrat Martin O’Malley announced his bid for the Presidency in Baltimore today. Speaking before he took the make-shift stage, several African-American speakers praised the governor for his achievements in combating crime, support for gay marriage and creation of jobs; the crowd, of a few hundred at best, consisted of a diverse mixture of races and gender, as they sang to the Star Spangled Banner. In a video, that appeared to have some electronic difficulty, we heard, “We will not stick our finger out to see which way the wind is blowing”.
Once there, he talked about his vision of the “American Dream”, the “gross injustice” in the economic gap between families, the need for generosity among Americans, the patriotic older generation (including women), and his goal to “Rebuild the American Dream”, how Baltimore was the model for making America what it is supposed to be, poverty in general, the evil of powerful and wealthy special interest groups who have worked to disadvantage the poor, and how the nation has become a land of inequality. He criticized the fact that wealthy business leaders have not been prosecuted (“We need to prosecute thieves”). He gave a special shout to the teachers in the nation same-sex marriage couples, small business (specifically including minorities) owners, and for those who are working for a minimum wage that is presently too low. In general, he talked about renewable energy efforts, immigration reform (our symbol “is not the barb-wire fence, it is the Statute of Liberty”), terrorists concerns, and the over-all effort to restore faith in the government. He even posited Bruce Springsteen’s question, “If a dream does not come true, is it real?”- he opined that the nation needs to make their dreams come true. He closed with, “I am a candidate for President of the United States, and I am running for you”- he had made a courtesy call to Hillary Clinton before the speech.