Underdog Presidential Candidate Welcomed to BC

On Wednesday, Martin O’Malley visited McGuinn 121 with an arsenal of initiatives and goals for the future of America that hinge on the participation and passions of youth.

The College Democrats of Boston College welcomed Democratic presidential candidate, O’Malley, for a promotional speaking event. McGuinn 121 was packed with people, passion and progressives in this successful campaign stop.

The underdog of the 2016 Democratic field, O’Malley was the 61st Governor of Maryland, who served as Baltimore City Councilor and Mayor of Baltimore. He prides himself on his loyalty to the Democratic Party and its ideals, calling himself a “lifelong Democrat,” as opposed to the other Democratic presidential candidates: former Republican, Hillary Clinton and self-proclaimed socialist, Bernie Sanders.

O’Malley met an excited crowd in McGuinn 121, accompanied by an equally excited tune, a tribute to his love of music. On top of producing “comprehensive gun control laws,” passing the Dream Act, and repealing the death penalty in Maryland, O’Malley is a proud member of the Celtic Rock Band, “O’Malley’s March.”

Dan Lee / Gavel Media

Dan Lee / Gavel Media

Like his competitors, O’Malley is making moves to appeal to the younger, liberal voters. His platform is most appreciated by college students in objectives 3 and 6 of the Governor’s 15 goals to “Rebuild the American Dream.”

Goal 3 involves action to cut the unemployment rate among young people in half within 3 years. Goal 6 is a dedication to increase the availability of an affordable college education, allowing students to graduate debt-free within 5 years.

Governor O’Malley made education a priority throughout much of his time in public office in the Old Line State. For 5 years under his leadership, Maryland had “the best public schools in America” with “no increase in college tuition.” He plans to continue the agenda of “the more people learn, the more people earn” if elected in November of 2016.

Other talking points that begot applause from the collegiate audience were O’Malley’s prioritization of gun control and reducing gun violence that “too often” frequent institutions of higher education.

This plan, outlined in goal 10 of O’Malley’s initiatives, aims to cut in half gun deaths from accidents, homicide, and suicide that come from the end of firearms too easily acquired. As Governor of Maryland and Mayor of Baltimore, O’Malley is no stranger to gun violence with Baltimore ranked, by Forbes, as the 7th most dangerous city in the United States.

Another issue dear to the hearts of the liberal constituency, and which Governor O’Malley addresses in goal 2, is climate change. A cause deemed by much of the Democratic Party as a grave matter of national security and of utmost importance.

Governor O’Malley purported that the U.S. citizens must “square their shoulders to this great challenge of time.” He suggests a “100% clean electrical grid,” which would create thousands of jobs along the way. But this proves to be an “engineering challenge,” and, in order for this challenge to be met, greater emphasis must be placed on research and innovation. O'Malley stressed this all starts with the prioritization of educating America’s youth. This struck a chord with the environmentally conscious students in the room.

Dan Lee / Gavel Media

Dan Lee / Gavel Media

After 30 minutes of speaking, Governor O’Malley took questions from the audience. Many of the students were curious about his foreign policy, especially regarding the crisis in Syria. The Governor supported the policies and actions taken by President Obama and Secretary of State, John Kerry, a 1976 graduate of Boston College Law School, which include efforts to maintain stability in Syria and increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted for resettlement in the U.S.

Governor O’Malley wrapped up the event thanking Tyler Shelepak MCAS '17, President of the College Democrats of Boston College, and James Cody, MCAS '16, President of the College Democrats of Massachusetts, for organizing the event in only 6 days. The Governor took further questions and photos following his speech.

With a “5% national recognition rate,” O’Malley acknowledges his comfortable position as third in the polls behind big names, Bernie and Hillary. But this has not discouraged him. Governor O’Malley “likes a tough fight” and is looking for passionate youths to join him in this fight to “Rebuild the American Dream.”

Unabashed bandwagon bookreader, trying to reclaim my Irish roots one far-fetched story at a time.