Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley may run for president in 2016, according to recent comments he made.
“By the end of this year, I think we’re on course to have a body of work that lays the framework of a candidacy for 2016,” he told reporters at the National Governors Association meeting earlier this month, as reported by various news outlets.
Members of the Baltimore Jewish community who have accompanied him to Israel see that he has a great interest in this country, as well as in Middle East politics.
“I think he’s beginning to really understand the Middle East and all the many problems and why solutions are tough to come by,” said Dr. Arthur C. Abramson, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council.
He, as well as Maryland/Israel Development Center founding director Barry Bogage, have accompanied O’Malley on three Israel trips, one when he was mayor of Baltimore and two since he’s been governor.
O’Malley’s spokeswoman declined an interview request.
In April, O’Malley took an eight-day trip to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, where he met with various political and business leaders, according to Bogage.
“He’s very interested in innovation and entrepreneurship,” Bogage said. “He’s really pushed that with life science and cyber security, and both of those industries are uniquely strong in Maryland and in Israel.”
Bogage added that O’Malley has shown a great interest in the history of Judaism, Israel and the Middle East, pushing to see new historical sites on each trip. He said O’Malley’s quest for knowledge would be crucial as president.
“He’s got to know what’s going on all over the world, and he’s got to understand what the motivations are of all the players,” Bogage said.
Abramson, who said O’Malley has a great rapport with Jewish and Middle Eastern communities in Maryland and afar, said his work in understanding the issues facing the Middle East would payoff greatly in the White House.
“If he’s president or vice president, he’d be facing many of the kinds of problems we’re facing today,” Abramson said. “If anything, they’ll grow more complex.”