A new super PAC supporting Martin O’Malley will officially launch on Thursday, and its message is a not-so-subtle dig at Hillary Clinton: Generation Forward.
The contents of the group’s first ad, titled “Passing the Torch,” and official site provide a preview for O’Malley’s campaign talking points ahead of his official launch on Saturday.
Soul singer Billy Valentine, of the moderate 1982 R&B hit “Money’s Too Tight (to Mention),” serves as the soundtrack to the fuzzy 1:07 clip.
O’Malley, lit by a bonfire and tiki torches, delivers his usual populist spiel (and, predictably, avoids engaging Clinton) as Valentine performs “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
“Right now in our country we’ve created an economy where we tell at least half of our people that they’re unneeded, they’re unheard, they’re unrecognized, they’re unseen, and they are unwanted,” O’Malley bellows, making a fist in the air for emphasis. “It is a gnawing, it is an eating, it is an erosion of the very thing that it’s supposed to mean to be an American.”
On the PAC’s website, however, things are a little more passive-aggressive toward Clinton.
“It’s time for new leadership, and a new generation,” the “About Us” page says. O’Malley is 15 years younger than Clinton.
“More than ever, we need to campaign for our future and scare away the dark politics of yesterday…We cannot choose to go back to the politics of the 20th century. We need new leadership for the 21st century.”
Generation Forward, which filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, will be led by two O’Malley loyalists: Damian O’Doherty, a longtime associate of O’Malley’s who the former Maryland governor appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund in 2007; and Ron Boehmer, who worked as O'Malley’s deputy press secretary from 2013 to 2015, when he exited the governor’s office.
Both currently work for KO Public Affairs, and Boehmer, who is 25 years old, will also serve as the PAC’s “millennial adviser.”
On Wednesday, O’Doherty told The Daily Beast that while “the Clintons have been fantastic at winning elections,” they haven’t been great at what happens after that.
“What good is it to win an election if it’s only to lose the generation? That’s clearly what we’ve seen.”
O’Doherty went on to say that although he describes himself as “a great admirer of Hillary Clinton [and] President Clinton,” the current state of affairs in America is “an indictment of the past.”
“I don’t think there’s any question that Governor Martin O’Malley is going to be an outstanding generational alternative to those policies of the past and the leaders that got us here,” he said.
He added that the public doesn’t “feel we should be going back to the policies that treats the presidency of the United States like a crown to the passed between two families,” which is something O’Malley has himself said, almost verbatim.
So far, that’s as close as O’Malley has gotten to actually criticizing Clinton.
And perhaps that strategy is a smart one: In recent months, O’Malley has climbed from 1 to 3 percent in the polls (although at least one of those polls had a margin of error of 4 percent).
With those numbers, the only way to go is up.