In what appears to be a very weak effort to gather support where he has little, in Iowa, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley took to bashing “Tea Party Republicans” during his latest visit to the state. Still, the Democrat hasn’t been able to weaken Hillary Clinton’s grip on the state, even though she’s making herself scarce there.
According to a recent Des Moines Register report, O’Malley did “two dozen events here last year, campaigning and fundraising for state and federal candidates during the midterm elections. His PAC gave $46,000 to Iowa candidates and two party organizations, the Pottawattamie County Democrats and the Iowa Democratic Party, PAC records show.”
Yet even his friends say that, for O’Malley, “there’s nowhere to go but up in Iowa.”
Maybe he thought a chair would help?
Saturday night in Council Bluffs, O’Malley climbed up on a chair for “a little more elevation so I can make eye contact with those of you in the back.”
He told the audience of about 70 at a Pottawattamie County Democrats’ event that the party had a very disappointing midterm election, “but it’s not how low you go it’s how high you bounce, and we are going to bounce back.”
He ripped tea party Republicans, saying: “They belittle science. They create traffic jams. Give them a few more weeks and they’ll deny Copernicus.”
The main theme of his speech was that it’s time to stand up to powerful special interests “who think they can gamble with our money and with the economy.” Nearly shouting into his microphone, he said: “We have to, as Democrats, step up and regulate Wall Street and make sure that they are never able to create that kind of economic devastation again. That’s our job.”
Of course, what O’Malley may not realize is how much his own party relies on deep pocketed donors. The woman he can’t seem to close the gap with in Iowa, Hillary Clinton, is currently explaining away how millions of dollars flowed into her family’s foundation from overseas, while she was Secretary of State. At this point, O’Malley’s Tea Party bashing looks like little more than the flailing of a politician looking for a boogie man to try and scare up some support in a state that’s just not into him.
An Iowa Poll in late January showed that O’Malley has just a tiny seed of support here among likely Democratic caucus goers. He ranks dead last in a Democratic field of six potential contenders, the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll found.