O’Malley cozies up to greenies, billionaire Steyer ahead of likely White House bid
DON’T TELL HILLARY: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, left, speaks with former President Bill Clinton during an event this past summer. O’Malley is seen by some as an anti-Hillary Democrat in the runup to the 2016 presidential campaigns.
By Dustin Hurst Watchdog.org
As Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley considers a 2016 White House run, he’s cozying up with groups key to positioning him as the anti-Hillary candidate.
But O’Malley’s mission to persuade might have been targeted not at the thousands gathered Wednesday night on the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, but rather at Democrats’ new piggy bank, billionaire Tom Steyer.
Luckily for the governor, Steyer had the best seat in the house for the show — on stage, right next to O’Malley.
The governor and the billionaire joined forces Wednesday night under the dome to speak to thousands of architects, designers and central planners attending Greenbuild 2014, a conference for those interested in green living.
Though O’Malley hasn’t formally declared his intention to run, he broached the topic immediately out of the gate. Asked by author and forum moderator Paul Hawken what he’d do as president if he knew he could not failed, the governor described a public relations offensive to re-educate the good people of America.
“It would be to instill an awareness in our people, a belief if you will, that climate change is not so much an inconvenient truth, but a reality to be embraced that can lead us to a more secure and prosperous future,” the governor said.
“You can go as far as the awareness of the electorate supports and allows.”
Or, in O’Malley’s case, as far as the electorate can afford.
The governor’s green agenda hasn’t come cheap. While states around Maryland saw electric rates drop, O’Malley’s insistence on using green sources caused — at least in part — steep hikes in power prices during his two terms.
The National Review’s Jillian Kay Melchior bashed the governor for his deference to Mother Earth over impoverished Marylanders.
“Of course, no one mentions that O’Malley’s ambitious green policy has an outsize and detrimental impact on the state’s most economically vulnerable residents,” Melchior wrote late last year.
Nevermind that, of course, because there’s progress to be made. O’Malley channeled his inner Barack Obama, telling onlookers the climate change issue effectively is settled.
“We’re in a race for time, clearly, and we’re not going back,” O’Malley warned.
When Hawken asked O’Malley what he plans on doing with his life and “amazing” talents after leaving office, the governor ducked the question, saying that he only plans to do good and serve the public.
Not everyone in the stadium was thrilled with the address, though. Early on, one spectator booed O’Malley and yelled for him to “get off the stage.”
The governor ignored the heckler.
For his part, Steyer, who’s dumped more than $55 million into the 2014 midterm elections, told onlookers to vote primarily with climate change in mind.
“The last word that’s on my mind is Nov. 4,” Steyer said. “One of the things I’ve learned is that the opinion of an American doesn’t really count at all. But the vote of an American counts a great deal.”
For what it’s worth, the governor and the billionaire philanthropist fled the green confab in a gas-guzzling SUV.