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O'Malley and Warren Popularity Reveals Chinks in Hillary Clinton's Armor
Martin O'Malley May Give Hillary Clinton a Fight
Hillary Clinton is a force to be reckoned with. A two-term First Lady, twice-elected U.S. Senator, and powerful Secretary of State, the wife of former U.S. president Bill Clinton has quite a resume. Unfortunately for her, voters often seem ambivalent. In 2008, her seemingly-assured path to the Democratic nomination for president was slowly derailed by a novice U.S. Senator named Barack Obama. Ultimately, Hillary was served a major upset.
The 2016 presidential election is starting out as a redux of 2008, with neither major party enjoying an incumbent. Already, the Republican field is packed to overflowing, with the list of likely presidential contenders approaching double digits. As in 2008, the Democratic field is dominated by one name: Hillary Clinton. Having played ball and accepted a position as Secretary of State, Hillary has kept relatively quiet and played her cards close to the vest.
Though no major Democrat has declared his or her candidacy, former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley has begun speaking up, reports TIME. Over the past week, O'Malley has been increasingly hinting at a presidential campaign and has lobbed veiled shots at Clinton. Like many critics, he appears to be accusing Clinton of nepotism and limousine liberalism. He is also appealing to voters by engaging in hard-hitting topics like economic inequality, which wealthier candidates like Clinton appear to be avoiding for now.
Accusations that Clinton is "soft" on many liberal issues, ranging from the rights of organized labor to a higher minimum wage to fighting income inequality, continue to dog the former Secretary of State. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a rookie like Obama was before the '08 presidential election, has made big waves for speaking out on economic issues. Though Warren continues to insist that she is not running for president, according to NPR, there is still plenty of time for candidates to enter the field.
While O'Malley and Warren have yet to challenge Clinton directly, the former Secretary of State may face challengers soon due to her lengthy and complicated record. In politics, tenure can often be a disadvantage as well as a resume-booster, since more time allows more mistakes and scandals to emerge. Clinton, facing scrutiny from Benghazi to fundraising foibles to her latest e-mail server hubbub, will likely have tough questions to answer on the campaign trail. According to USA Today, Clinton's e-mail scandal may have expanded slightly with news that she e-mailed staffers from both an iPad and a Blackberry using her personal e-mail address, not a single device as she had previously claimed.
While none of Clinton's "scandals" are likely to have much impact overall, they do contribute to voters' drive to find viable options. And, as more options present themselves, like Martin O'Malley, voters may begin to truly explore the possibility of not anointing Hillary Clinton as the next Democratic presidential nominee.