There’s a double standard in the media, and it’s time to address it. When Republican candidates poll in low single digits, they are often accused of running either to sell books or to snag a prime perch on Fox News. The charge has been lobbed at candidates as varied as Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain.
But what about when it’s a Democratic candidate? Take Martin O’Malley. The former Maryland governor has a strong résumé, but he just hasn’t taken hold with voters, and is currently averaging below 1 percent in RealClearPolitics’ average. What’s his ulterior motive? Obviously the progressive wonk isn’t aiming for Fox, and he also hasn’t published a book (yet). Sure, there are some sober answers to that question: Maybe he’s positioning himself to run in four or eight years. Maybe he’s angling for a cabinet post in a Democratic administration.
I have a different theory: I think O’Malley is in this race to get a record deal.
On Tuesday, he was on The View, where with minimal urging he whipped out a guitar and delivered a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” It was a little ragged and pitched too low, but the message was on point: Katy Perry, the song’s original target, is campaigning for Hillary Clinton.
That follows this tweet from just before the first Democratic debate:
In September, O’Malley went with IJ Review to Wall Street where he busked playing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”
The connection is clear. Is this a little thirsty? Sure. But I get it. It’s hard to make it in the music business, especially these days, and as ways to snag a record contract go, campaigning for president is only slightly more demeaning than trying out for American Idol.