Former Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley was back in New Hampshire on Tuesday and said his party needs to end its pity party and face the future.
O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland who dropped out of the 2016 presidential race just before the New Hampshire primary, returned for his second appearance at the New England Council's "Politics & Eggs" lecture series at Saint Anselm College.
After spending much of the last year helping elect Democrats to state Legislatures in special elections, O'Malley said he thinks the party has a chance win majorities in Congress in November's midterm elections if it focuses on restoring trust in democracy and preparing children to succeed in a changing economy.
"If we do these things, we are going to call forward a wellspring of goodness in our country in every generation, not just among our young. But it will be driven, it will be led, and it will be powered by our young," he said. "But we have to shake ourselves out of the pity party. We have to hold out and cast away the fear of the future that has become the stale currency of our current politics and instead embrace it, not be afraid of the light that shines within us, look into the eyes of our kids, and call forward that goodness."
He called Republican President Donald Trump "the most effective tool for candidate recruitment we've ever had" and said he's confident the country will emerge stronger after this "temporary time."
"It seemed like last year, to some of us, that the integrity and cohesion of our democracy was dissipating before our very eyes. But I've got some good news to bring to you here in New Hampshire. And that is, that darkness makes a great canvas, and it's spring time, and there is a goodness within our country that is longing to be called forward."
O'Malley, who has said he hasn't ruled out another run in 2020, wasn't the only 2016 candidate in New Hampshire on Tuesday. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who finished a distant second behind Trump in the state's Republican presidential primary, was holding a "fireside chat" at New England College on Tuesday night.