Last week, former Governor Martin O’Malley began his town hall meeting at New England College by comparing his own debate performance to the tiny Who-ville residents in Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who, where only one endearing elephant can hear them, no matter how loud they scream and shout.
O’Malley discussed why Clinton and Sanders had dominated the last debate. He explained that the moderators told the campaigns that 90 percent of the questions would go to the two frontrunners. O’Malley spoke about he had to fight his way into the conversation and then make his case in just the few seconds he had.
O’Malley told the sparse audience in Henniker, New Hampshire that his campaign was like a boat and the election was like a river, giving him little control where he could go. Unfortunately for O’Malley, he seems to have accidentally launched his rowboat among cruise ships.
When one questioner bemoaned the lack of debates, O’Malley took the chance to berate the Democratic National Committee for both limiting the number of debates and scheduling them far from primetime. Of the four so far, three have been over the weekends, two of which fell on Saturday nights. Much has been discussed about how minimizing the number of debates helps Hillary Clinton, but O’Malley went on to discuss how Bernie Sanders would not want to add debates because the current schedule helps to ensure a two-person race.
In the same manner as in the debates, O’Malley tried to differentiate himself from the two Democratic front runners by highlighting his executive experience at the town hall. Nearly every question he was asked on domestic policies during the town hall meeting, he answered with a reference to an initiative he had championed as either Maryland’s governor or Baltimore’s mayor.
After the event, the volunteers for the O’Malley campaign asked everyone on their way out if they could help the campaign’s Get Out The Vote efforts. Declining to sign up, I asked one staffer for a card so I could reach out if I ended up being interested. His response: “Do you think we can afford business cards?”
This was originally published on the Huffington Post.