Gov. Martin O'Malley told a group of reporters Saturday he was laying the "framework" for his 2016 presidential bid, suggesting the governor has shifted from considering whether he'd like to run to how he would run for the Democratic nomination.

While in Milwaukee, Wis. for the National Governors Association, O'Malley told several political journalists over beers at a hotel bar that by this end of this year, he will have mapped out "a body of work that lays the framework of a candidacy for 2016," according to several reports. 

O'Malley first told The Baltimore Sun in April he would take the next year to consider a campaign for the White House. The governor did not commit to presidential campaign Saturday, but rather said he has been working through a process to do so. 

“I have been taking more time to let my soul catch up with where my body’s been, you know? To slow down a little bit, and to spend a little more time thinking, and writing, and reading and spending some time with my kids,” O’Malley said Saturday night. “Just doing that important work that a human being has to do to be centered and present and make a rational decision on something this big and to do it for the right reason and in the right way. So I’m doing all of those things.”

Politico reported that, during the 35-minute conversation, O'Malley said several recent speeches covered the big issues he would build his platform around, including a commencement at St. Mary’s College, last month's speech on climate change, a Center for American Progress address about growing the middle class and a speech in Ireland.

The governor said the country is having a "crisis of confidence" that would not be resolved any time soon.

The Washington Post relayed this transcript of O'Malley's remarks on the collective psyche f the nation:

"As a country, we’re going through this crisis of confidence. And great republics sometimes go through these periods. Individuals call them, what, the dark night of the soul. We’re going through a time of confusion and a time of polarization and a real crisis about whether or not we are still capable as a people of accomplishing big and important things, none more important than restoring the balance to our economy so that our middle class can continue to grow and give more opportunities to each successive generation. We will get through that period — of that, I have no doubt. I don’t think we are going to get through that period by 2014.”

 

O'Malley said part of his potential presidential plan involved his work through his political action committee, which raised $500,000 in the first half of the year and gave some to what he called "like-minded" candidates in early primary states.

Here's the take from Time. And here's the version appeared on BuzzFeed.