O’Malley has cast himself as a younger voice of the party not tainted by Clinton-era scandals. A supporter of same-sex marriage, he’s criticized Clinton for “flip flopping” on the issue. He’s also criticized her for the international “mess” in the Middle East, a shot at her tenure as secretary of state. O’Malley says he’s the strongest Democrat on gun control and addiction treatment. He would end “too big to fail” financial institutions and expand Social Security. He supports “green” energy and campaign-finance reform. He would force banks to separate commercial and investment units, implement a tracking system for prescription narcotics and expand “national service” through AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps and other programs. He supports a “pathway” to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently in the United States.
O’Malley, 53, has been involved in Democratic politics since campaigning (while in college) for Gary Hart in the 1984 presidential nomination. While in law school, he served as a field director for Democrat Barbara Mikulski’s successful U.S. Senate campaign in Maryland. He was a Baltimore city councilor before becoming mayor in 1999. He touted a significant reduction in the city’s crime, though the Washington Post called it a “dent.” He was re-elected, but then left to run successfully for governor of Maryland in 2006. He stepped down after his second term. O’Malley has a bachelor’s degree from Catholic University of America and a law degree from the University of Maryland-Baltimore. He plays guitar and banjo and is a member of a Celtic rock band. He and his wife, Katie Curran, have four children.