Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley marks his return to the Sunday political show circuit this week just as his longtime sparring partner and potential 2016 rival, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, is battling the biggest scandal of his administration.
The appearance on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday will focus on the minimum wage, "economic mobility" and gun control, according to a listing from the network. That said, it's a safe bet Christie will come up.
Both men are considered potential presidential candidates in 2016.
It's the first time O'Malley has been booked on a Sunday show since last February. As the former chair of the Democratic Governors Association and a surrogate for the Obama campaign, he was a regular guest on the shows in 2012.
Christie fired two top aides Thursday for their role in causing traffic tie ups to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. The story has dominated political coverage across the country and has raised questions about Christie's future ambitions.
There's a long history of O'Malley and Christie sniping at each other, but those types of exchanges often ease when one of the people involved is entangled in controversy. In other words, O'Malley doesn't need to attack because Christie is already on defense.In 2011, O'Malley described Christie as leading "the best stand-up routine" among Republican governors. A year later, he whipped out the comparison to comedian Don Rickles, which he has frequently repeated. Last year he received attention for recalling how Christie "regaled us for 20 minutes at a lunch about how he put on a Superman cape and reformed his pension system...Everyone has had to do that."
Christie has lobbed his own insults back at O'Malley, telling The Record in New Jersey, for instance, that O'Malley is "not that smart; he's not that good."