I have been told that I spend too much time on Facebook. Obviously at times this social media site can be a time waster. From time to time, it can be productive.

It can even provide an idea for a column.


Lauren Cook, a broadcaster on ABC 2 News, asked recently on her Facebook page whether folks would support Gov. Martin O'Malley for a potential presidential run in 2016. There have been numerous press accounts of his "serious consideration" for seeking that office.

Cook's report offered the Larry Hogan's campaign Facebook page a chance to sideswipe both O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. Hogan is the Republican candidate seeking to replace O'Malley in the state house, while Brown is the Democratic candidate for the same office.

According to the Hogan Facebook response, the O'Malley-Brown administration "increased spending 36 percent, raised taxes 40 times, lost 8,000 businesses and nearly doubled unemployment." The post goes on to note that Maryland is the second leading state in foreclosures and last in manufacturing. Referring to the results of a recent poll, the Hogan campaign post stated that nearly half of all Marylanders desire to leave our state.

The closing question of the post was,"Do you think that he and Anthony deserve big promotions?"

Social media at times has taken a roll akin to bumper stickers when it comes to campaigning. Often fairly complex ideas get boiled down to a tight message. This may be accompanied by photos, graphics and even video content.

There was a time that speculation on who would run for president would be postponed until after the mid-term election two years prior to a presidential election year. We are way past that mindset in the 24-7 media cycle of the Internet and cable news.

There has been press speculation about former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton's interest in running for president for many years. According to a Washington Post story from Aug. 5, O'Malley's preparation for a possible presidential run are not contingent on any decision from Clinton.

I have a feeling that overstates how O'Malley would deal with a Clinton campaign for president in 2016. He may well run for president even if she does. However, were Clinton to run, I have a feeling that O'Malley would not offer her too much serious pushback. Instead I would expect him to run for president mainly as an audition for being selected as vice-president by Clinton.

If Clinton does not run for president in two years, I'd expect O'Malley could mount a credible effort in the Democratic nomination process. His record of blocking fracking for natural gas in western Maryland would play well in just about any primary or caucus state.

The O'Malley record of raising taxes and fees would fit right in with the average primary voter in most states. His embracing of global warming theories would be a plus in the typical Democratic caucus states.

The Democratic nomination includes super delegates who are either elected officials or high party officials. They might well appreciate that in 2012, after the first presidential debate in which the president did not fare all that well compared to Gov. Mitt Romney, O'Malley was one of the few surrogates to charge right in to the spin room for post debate television coverage.

On the other hand, were O'Malley to secure the nomination, I can see the GOP lining up some rather pointed TV ads to inform swing state voters on some of the details of his record. In a sense, the Hogan campaign could be performing opposition research into the potential 2016 campaign of our governor.

Michael Zimmer writes from Eldersburg. His column appears on Fridays. Email him at zimlaw64@gmail.com.