Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley delivers his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature in Annapolis, Md., Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. The term-limited governor used his final address to urge lawmakers to raise the state's minimum wage.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley gave his final State of the State Address yesterday in Annapolis. Beyond spelling out what he wants for his final legislative session, observers watched the speech for any hints as to O'Malley's future political plans.
O'Malley has been weighing a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 for more than two years, and publicly has not shied away from questions about it. During his last speech to a joint meeting of the General Assembly, it wasn't hard to imagine a presidential candidate O'Malley introducing himself to voters in Iowa or New Hampshire.
When asked how O'Malley's progressive message might resonate nationally, Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen offered some caution.
"The governor is fortunate to have a General Assembly here in Maryland that wants to work with him to accomplish those things. Unfortunately we [Democrats in Congress] have been impeded on those issues by the fact the Tea Party controls a majority in the House of Representatives," he said.
If O'Malley's potential bid could be heard in his speech, so could the potential attack ads against him.
"I guess the biggest challenge with the prospect of him running for higher office is he has not been inclusive. He has not reached across. He has not recognized that he represented the whole state, and not just a certain part of the state and not just a certain philosophical slant," said David Brinkley, the GOP leader in the Maryland Senate.
But the presidential politics will have to wait for now — there's 73 days left in the current General Assembly session.