Martin O’Malley: I’m Not Running in 2020, But Beto O’Rourke Should

Former Maryland governor and 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley announced Thursday that he will not run for president in 2020—but said Beto O’Rourke should. In an op-ed for the Des Moines Register, O’Malley wrote that when he was running for president, “America wasn’t in the mood for new leadership. We were in a mood of anger, rage and retribution. And in this mood, Donald Trump’s candidacy rose.” But, he claimed, there’s now “a different mood in our nation,” and “People are looking for a new leader who can bring us together.”

O’Malley argued that Rep. O’Rourke (D-TX)—the beloved liberal congressman who lost a surprisingly close race for the Texas senate to Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2018 midterms—is that new leader. “O’Rourke has the wisdom to listen, the courage to lead, and a rock-solid faith in the powerful goodness of our nation. Because he is of a new generation, O’Rourke understands that a new way of governing—with openness, transparency, and performance—is called for to tackle our problems in the Information Age,” O’Malley wrote. He added that “Like so many other Americans, I believe we need new leadership to make that future a reality. And, I believe the new leader who can best bring us together and turn us around to create that better American future, is Beto O’Rourke.”