When I first saw pictures of the venue for tonight’s Democratic debate. I thought to myself, “ How embarrassing! They have clearly set up too many podiums. Surely they won’t need more than two.”
But as I researched further I discovered that there are in fact FIVE Democratic candidates for president this year! What a time to be alive.
Jokes aside the media coverage that has been building around tonight’s political cage-match has focused so much on Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton that it has almost become embarrassing to even mention the other candidates' names.
The press has marginalized them, and it would be safe to assume that Sanders, and especially Clinton, have done the same. That would be a very big mistake on her part.
The most dangerous man in the room for Clinton tonight will not be Sanders; it will be Martin O’Malley.
Polling at a woeful 4%, nobody in their right mind could make the argument that O’Malley will be able to unseat Clinton as the reigning Democratic candidate after one debate. He could, however, damage her enough to give Sanders the lead.
O’Malley is the only Democratic candidate who has proven himself both willing, and able, to go after Clinton.
According to a piece published on Tuesday by The National Review, “Sure, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley is at only four percent among Democrats… er, in his home state. But tonight he might be the only candidate on stage who’s willing to throw a metaphorical punch at Hillary Clinton.”
O’Malley has already attacked Clinton for her high-dollar fundraising pals at places like Goldman Sachs. He has alluded to her being a warmonger. He has accused his own party of not scheduling enough debates to fairly challenge her lead. And he has even sided with Republicans when it comes to their concern over her private email accounts.
No other Democratic candidate has so openly and consistently attacked another leading up to this debate, and it would be foolishness not to assume that O’Malley’s strategy tonight will involve bashing Clinton like a birthday piñata.
He may just succeed in smashing her campaign wide open. But it will be Sanders, not O’Malley that gleefully scoops up all the candy.