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MARTIN O’MALLEY’S PRIMARY defeat in the first open Democratic presidential primary last year underscored the real estate mogul’s growing strength over the establishment and even in Democratic politics itself. And as Mr. O’Malley had warned, Mr. Trump’s ascent made room for Democrats — and Mr. O’Malley, who is considering another run for president — to struggle for relevance in the field.
At times, Mr. O’Malley did not hold back from urging voters to “Make America Great Again” as Mr. Trump did. He aired a commercial in Iowa encouraging supporters to “resist” the Republican agenda. (“His love for the federal government is baffling,” a narrator said.)
And in a bit of foreshadowing, Mr. O’Malley hammered Mr. Trump’s past record in real estate, challenging voters to “run him out of town” if they did not think he was someone they could trust.
At times he “shredded” Mr. Trump’s strategy, saying a president would have to be competent and do a lot more than just come in and launch “barking contests.” It was “the tack that we would be better off taking,” he said.