The former governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley, once a loyal Hillary Clinton supporter,on Saturday announced his presidential bid in rivalry against the Democratic frontrunner Clinton, saying the presidential ‘crown’ does not belong to her.
O’Malley called for the renaissance of the American dream he said he ‘was hanging by a thread.’ He also called for an America of equality, one that focuses on jobs, higher wages, and sophisticated immigration reform.
He promised to tackle the problem of governance working in favor of "powerful, wealthy special interests," bringing fairness to all Americans so that they wouldn’t be left behind. He insinuated Obama’s failure to accomplish such equality.
"Our economic and political system is upside down and backwards and it is time to turn it around," O'Malley said.
Serving as mayor in Baltimore and as a state governor twice, the 52-year-old O’Malley said he would bring leadership experience to his bid. Both as a personality and his success is well known outside of New York and Washington.
O’Malley had supported Hillary Clinton’s White House bid in 2008 elections , but did not acknowledge her fit for the role in 2016 as a nominee.
He had a dig at the two families who’ve controlled the oval office over the last quarter of a century and said that Wall Street wouldn’t say no to another Clinton or Bush.
"The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth... between two royal families," O'Malley said passionately, welcomed by an ovation.
The competition for the Democratic presidential nominee is currently led by Clinton with polls showing her popularity over her other rivals. According to realclearpolitics.com Clinton enjoys at least one percent more than O’Malley.
The Democratic race will be narrow as opposed to the Republican nomination which constantly has new candidates joining the race.
There are already eight candidates in the Republican contest and at least eight more are expected to join including Jeb Bush, the son and brother of the two former presidents.
O’Malley aims to appeal to voters who are disenchanted and disaffiliated with the Clintons and the Bushes.
A Baltimore resident Alissa Zingman said these were the type issues she trusts O’Malley on including his opposition to a massive trade accord that Washington is confidentially sealing a deal on with 11 other Pacific Rim countries.
"I've been really disappointed with how little I've seen from Hillary," Zingman said to Agency France Presse, and further criticising Clinton on staying quiet about the trade deal, saying she “doesn’t have an excuse" for not acting.
O’Malley started his nomination campaign in Baltimore, a city that was shaken by violent riots last month.
The protests were partly against the ‘zero tolerance’ police tactics that were imposed by O’Malley whilst he was mayor. The protesters were demonstrating against what they deemed as police brutality and racial profiling. The policy lowered crime rates but lead to a huge number of arrests.
"It was a heartbreaking night for all of us," O'Malley said.
"But there is something to be learned from that night, and there is something to be offered to our country from those flames," he added.
During O’Malley’s campaigning in Baltimore, several protested behind the banners and flags protested against the police tactics chanting ‘black lives matter’ and ‘You are lying’.
A protestor Megyn Kelly holding up a banner that reads ‘stop killer cops’, said she rejected O’Malley’s bid because of the zero tolerance tactics he imposed and ‘implemented.’
"Structural racism is alive and it's working, and it needs to be dismantled, and a whole new paradigm needs to be rebuilt," she told AFP.
O’Malley campaigned by referring to his achievements in education and immigration reform.
"We raised the minimum wage and we sustained the highest median income in America. We achieved top rankings for innovation, entrepreneurship, and minority and women's business development," he said.
O’Malley also promised to tackle climate change as an important issue, emphasizing the need for renewable forms of energy to revitalize American as a country of "hope, opportunity and justice for all."