Friday, May 22, 2015

Bill Clinton on Martin O'Malley in 2014: 'Terrific Governor,' 'Best Run State'

     As former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley emerges as perhaps the most significant threat to Hillary Clinton in her quest for the Democratic nomination for president, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation may be trying to downplay O'Malley's connections to the organization. At the annual meeting in June 2014 for the Clinton Global Initiative, O'Malley appeared on stage with Bill Clinton to announce O'Malley's involvement with a project of CGI called the Mid-Atlantic Infrastructure Exchange (MAX). Clinton praised O'Malley as "a terrific governor of Maryland" and noted his education reforms in particular [remarks related to O'Malley begin around 5:00 in the video]:

    Clinton went on to note that "Maryland at least twice during [O'Malley's] two-term tenure has been voted the best run state in the country". The former president was optimistic about O'Malley and the Democratic Party's future in Maryland, predicting, "his lieutenant governor who he endorsed... I think will succeed him [as governor in November 2014 election,] showing that the people of Maryland like where they're going and believe in what they're doing." Republican Larry Hogan actually went on to beat O'Malley's lieutenant governor Anthony Brown in a shocking upset in the 2014 race.
    But despite Bill Clinton's warm welcome and praise for O'Malley, the former governor's appearance is difficult to find in the Clinton Foundation's recap of the 2014 CGI meeting. O'Malley's name appears only once on the foundation's website, pictured below [highlight added]:

    However, the link provided takes users to "CGIA 2014 Commitment Announcement: Scaling Community Advantage Capital for Small Business" rather than O'Malley's announcement. Video of his appearance with Bill Clinton is on the Clinton Global Initiative's YouTube channel, but is listed as "CGIA 2014 Commitment Annoucement [sic]: AFL-CIO and MAX"; O'Malley's name is not mentioned in the description. O'Malley is not listed as as a participant in the Clinton Global Initiative's agenda for the 2014 meeting, either.
    The fate of the Mid-Atlantic Infrastructure Exchange that O'Malley announced is something of a mystery as well. It is not mentioned on the Clinton Foundation website, and does not appear to have a website of its own, either. Emails to the Clinton Foundation and to Martin O'Malley's office inquiring about the Mid-Atlantic Infrastructure Exchange and O'Malley's involvement have gone unanswered.

Note: A version of this post first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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