Former Governor Martin O’Malley has formally launched his presidential campaign Saturday at a morning rally in Baltimore. The Democratic candidate’s motto is “new leadership,” which can be meant to draw a contrast with Hillary Clinton whose is a decade and a half older than O’Malley and whose husband served two terms as president.
With the backdrop of a divided city based on race and class behind him, O’Malley jumpstarted his campaign on the theme of inclusion.
“This is the urgent work calling us forward today: to rebuild the truth of the American Dream for all Americans. And to begin right now,” O’Malley said.
As president, he vowed comprehensive immigration reform, to reign in Wall Street, to tackle climate change, to allow for union organization, and increasing the minimum wage.
The former governor’s term ended in January and has been planning for a presidential run since before then, making frequent trips to Iowa and New Hampshire as well as a few visits to South Carolina – early primary states.
But O’Malley has faced some early problems even before his launch – a fact that was symbolized at his announcement when technical difficulties prevented a video on a big screen from being viewable.
O’Malley has struggled to register in the polls, achieving only single digits in most surveys, is positioning himself to the left of frontrunner Hillary Clinton. But his being challenged in that space by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, who recently announced his White House run.
The former governor didn’t spare Clinton from his announcement.
“The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families,” he said, knocking not only Clinton but likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. “The only way we are going to rebuild the American Dream is if we re-take control of our own American government.”
Read more: NBC News