The following is an editorial written by PoliticusUSA managing editor and co-publisher Sarah Jones.
Martin O’Malley seemed so interesting. In 2002, Esquire dubbed him “The Best Young Mayor in the Country.” He was called a rising star in 2005. So even though he is barely a blip on the radar, I was excited to have another liberal join the Democratic primaries, hoping it would further the push by Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to make the 2016 primaries an issues-oriented campaign, thereby using the primaries to elevate the issues liberals care deeply about.
We were set for a great primary season.
That all changed yesterday, when along came former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.
O’Malley announced his candidacy on Saturday by repeating a Republican claim against Hillary Clinton, “Recently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he’d be just fine with either Bush or Clinton. Well, I’ve got news for the bullies of Wall Street—the presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families.”
Wall Street aside, because who doesn’t agree that they’ve been bullies and some among them have been grossly incompetent to boot, it’s the crown to be passed between two royal families that I have such a problem with.
This claim that Hillary Clinton is the same as Jeb Bush is helpful only to other Republicans in the primary race, Jeb Bush, and the Republican establishment who seek to mitigate the branding harm of his last name.
Hillary Clinton is not receiving a crown passed down from her parents. I’ve gone over this baloney before, but she came from a middle class family in Illinois. Neither of her parents were ever president. Nor were they anywhere near the White House or even a governor’s mansion, until they visited their daughter. There is also no Bill Clinton father who was president. Thus, the Clintons are not like the Bushes.
It also means that this “crown” being passed down to an entitled Hillary Clinton comes via her marriage. This infers that she didn’t work for it, she wasn’t working along side Bill Clinton all of these years. She doesn’t have her own political career. She is just like his grown child, being given a crown.
This presumes that Ms. Clinton didn’t graduate with honors and get herself to an amazing college or get a law degree from Yale. She didn’t work as a lawyer while living in Arkansas married to Bill Clinton who eventually became the Governor, even when most wives were not working. She was never a Senator of New York, and she certainly didn’t spend four years flying around the globe dealing with foreign policy as Secretary of State.
Nope. Martin O’Malley, who calls himself a liberal, is suggesting that Hillary Clinton didn’t work for it. She inherited it via marriage.
This is one of the oldest accusations made about women. They didn’t earn it; they married it. It made me cringe when he said it. Then I got angry.
Not only are the Clintons not a dynasty — no matter how anyone feels about them personally — but Hillary Clinton is no indulged princess getting a crown from daddy. This is so beneath the level of discourse expected from a liberal that it leaves me quite depressed about what’s coming next.
Martin O’Malley might not have meant to be sexist by playing the Republican card of “royalty” against Hillary Clinton, but he should know better.
This attack also punishes Clinton for being married, something Republicans are gleefully also trying to make stick. The logic is that since her husband got to be President, she doesn’t get to, otherwise CROWN!
What makes Ms. Clinton less “entitled” to run for office than her husband? This suggests that O’Malley is saying that Bill Clinton’s career has precedence, which is actually a very old-fashioned and yet still harmful male-centric idea that damages women professionally. Survey says.
High-achieving women expect egalitarianism and are disappointed when they don’t get it. Egalitarianism is the foundation of feminism, something any “liberal” should be well-versed on and not spitting on — in public, no less.
Martin O’Malley says he’s the “young” face, but he’s using both sexism and ageism as a crutch to help him get attention. That isn’t young. And what he and his people seem to fail to understand is that contrary to what the media has been feeding politicians forever, people do actually care about the issues. This is why Senators like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have such a loyal following.
Liberals want to hear about the issues, and they deserve a primary focused on issues, not cheap shots. Not only is he shooting his promising future in the foot if he stays on this course, but O’Malley needs a reboot before he ruins what is set to be one of the best Democratic primaries in a long time.
And that matters because it is the Democrats who are protecting the 98%, and if their primary goes to dirt and mud, the general election is sure to disappoint.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.