As Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley considers a 2016 White House run, he’s cozying up with groups key to positioning him as the anti-Hillary candidate.
The governor and billionaire Tom Steyer joined forces Wednesday night at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans to speak to thousands of architects, designers and central planners attending Greenbuild 2014, a conference for those interested in green living.
But the most important person in the audience for O’Malley was Steyer, the Democrats’ new piggie bank. Luckily for the governor, Steyer had the best seat in the house for the show — on stage, right next to O’Malley.
Though O’Malley hasn’t formally declared his intention to run, he broached the topic immediately out of the gate. Asked by author and forum moderator Paul Hawken what he’d do as president if he knew he could not failed, the governor described a public relations offensive to re-educate the good people of America.
“It would be to instill an awareness in our people, a belief if you will, that climate change is not so much an inconvenient truth, but a reality to be embraced that can lead us to a more secure and prosperous future,” the governor said. “You can go as far as the awareness of the electorate supports and allows.”
Or, in O’Malley’s case, as far as the electorate can afford.
The governor’s green agenda hasn’t come cheaply. Although states around Maryland saw electric rates drop in recent years, O’Malley’s insistence on using green sources caused — at least in part — steep hikes in power prices during his two terms.
National Review’s Jillian Kay Melchior bashed the governor for his deference to the green left over impoverished Marylanders.
“Of course, no one mentions that O’Malley’s ambitious green policy has an outsize and detrimental impact on the state’s most economically vulnerable residents,”Melchior wrote late last year.
For his part, Steyer, who’s dumped more than $55 million into the 2014 midterm elections, told onlookers to vote primarily with climate change in mind.