Martin O’Malley Rails at Democrats for Debate Schedule ‘Rigged’ to Aid Hillary Clinton – New York Times

omalley

MINNEAPOLIS – Martin O’Malley had one clear chance to make waves within the Democratic National Committee, and he seized it, delivering a fiery speech Friday that condemned his party’s leadership for what he called a process “rigged” to help Hillary Rodham Clinton — namely, curtailing the number of presidential primary debates.

Accusing party leaders of trying to keep Democratic ideas hidden as the Republican presidential candidates spew “racist hate” from their debate lecterns, Mr. O’Malley, the former Maryland governor and mayor of Baltimore, questioned the decision to hold “four debates and four debates only” before the first four states finish voting.

“This is totally unprecedented in our party’s history,” Mr. O’Malley said. “This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before. Whose decree is it exactly? Where did it come from? To what end? For what purpose? What national or party interest does this decree serve? How does this help us tell the story of the last eight years of Democratic progress?”

While Mr. O’Malley never named the party’s chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, his remarks about the debates were clearly aimed at her – and she sat looking grim throughout, barely clapping, and appeared angry when she shook his hand once he finished.

He did not name Mrs. Clinton in his speech, either, but Mr. O’Malley was asked afterward if he thought the debate schedule had been arranged for her benefit. “Yes, I think so. Don’t you?” he replied.

While Mr. O’Malley has been deeply critical of the party for weeks over the debate schedule, this was a frontal attack on the party’s leadership from its own stage. Without endorsements or many major donors, Mr. O’Malley has little to lose.

But he was giving voice to a complaint that a growing number of party committee members have been making privately. Those members, mindful that Mrs. Clinton’s standing in some polls has sagged lately, have been concerned about a process that could ultimately do the party a disservice.

But delivering such a raw speech startled Democrats at the party’s summer meeting, although it was met with cheers from the crowd.

Mr. O’Malley, a lifelong Democrat and onetime chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, seemed comfortable playing the insurgent as he took the stage.

Read more here.

Share

Comments

comments

')