Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown's loss to Larry Hogan for Maryland governor has put the spotlight on Brown's boss -- current Democratic governor Martin O'Malley and his presidential aspirations. Pundits wonder whether O'Malley would be the party's best shot at keeping the White House if he couldn't help Democrats retain the state's top elected position.
Here's what media outlets across the country are saying about O'Malley and how the 2016 presidential landscape is shaping up.
"Since our country's founding, we have been engaged in a continual effort to shape our economy in accordance with our values. Democrats believe that a thriving economy is built from the middle out, that a strong middle class is the cause of economic success. Now isn't the time for a U-turn. Let's continue to build on our progress."
"This election cycle few have worked harder on behalf of the Democratic Party in states across the country than the Maryland governor. But many in the party have greeted O'Malley with little more than a shrug. As the 2016 presidential race launches the moment the Tuesday polls close, he's attracting little interest nationally and—if it even seems possible—even less interest from his own constituents.
And Wednesday morning, as O'Malley grappled with implications of Republican Larry Hogan's stunning upset of Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in this bluest of states—a victory that clearly reflected unhappiness with O'Malley—the former governor had to be wondering if he has any national future at all."
Many are now focusing on Hillary Clinton's chances to lead the party in 2016. Politico points out some "silver linings" from the Democrats' midterm election losses. Is Maryland Democrats' loss Clinton's gain?:
"[Brown's] victory was expected to be an affirmation of the O'Malley record, a decidedly progressive checklist of passing the DREAM Act and legislation allowing same-sex marriage. ... Nonetheless, Brown has now gone from being a sought-after ally to an albatross for O'Malley's national ambitions."
"History has demonstrated that two-term Maryland governors depart with high disapproval ratings and exhausted political options. With the exception of Spiro Agnew and William Donald Schaefer, former governors are typically never heard from again."
In early October, CNN called O'Malley "the hardest-working man in Democratic politics":
"'I am doing everything in my power to strengthen the party in every state and to elect as many Democrats as I can,' O'Malley said in an interview with CNN. 'Call me old-fashioned, but it's been my experience that we can only govern effectively when we make our party stronger.'"
O'Malley might be the hardest-working man in Democratic politics but that's obscured by his low standing in national polls."
The New York Times profiled O'Malley in late October and touched on what he would need to do in a presidential campaign:
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"Mr. O'Malley will have to make clear whether he is willing to challenge Mrs. Clinton, the giant who blocks any viable path to the nomination. So far, he is reluctant to so much as nudge the woman he supported 'all the way through' the 2008 Democratic primaries, publicly eschewing any criticism of her positions and privately pitching himself to donors as a Clintonian contingency plan. Instead, Mr. O'Malley contrasts himself with a safer target: the embattled president of the United States."