Fellow Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton says she hasn't decided whether to run, and neither, O'Malley says, has he. In the meantime, he is running one of the most vigorous noncampaign campaigns of any 2016 possibility in either party — raising money, stumping in early-voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, traveling abroad to boost his foreign policy credentials and honing a message that might be characterized, for brevity's sake, as compassionate competence.
"People want problem-solvers," O'Malley, a former Baltimore mayor, said in a late-night interview after the first of two well-received speeches to Democratic activists in Des Moines. "They want leaders that will bring people together to solve problems, not people that will take their ideology and try to beat round pegs into square holes."
Noted for his data-driven approach to policy, starting when he used computer analysis to chart citizen complaints and fuel millions of dollars of new efficiencies in city government, O'Malley is a devout Roman Catholic grounded in the Jesuit emphasis on social justice. His religious faith, he suggests, informs his secular beliefs.