Martin O'Malley's Lack Of Crisis Experience Is A Problem For Someone Hoping To Be Commander-In-Chief

In Saturday night's second Democratic debate, the three candidates on stage were asked for an example of a crisis they've experience that's prepared them for the many challenges the next president will face. Martin O'Malley disappointingly admitted there's no crisis he's dealt with comparable to those on the federal level, essentially saying he isn't very prepared to be commander-in-chief. Up against a former secretary of state and current senator, the former governor of Maryland's answer only highlighted his inexperience.

O'Malley said: "I don't think that there is a crisis at the state or local level that really you can point to and say, therefore, I am prepared for the sort of crises that any man or woman who is commander-in-chief of our country has to deal with." He then continued to point out his "discipline" as governor. While it's true that governors don't have to deal with ISIS or the entire nation's economy the way the president must, voters want to know that the person they elect is capable of handling those major problems. It's well established that Hillary Clinton has the most foreign policy experience of the bunch, and after her story about deciding to attack Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room, O'Malley looked especially unequipped to be commander-in-chief. His honesty may have gained him a few points, but his answer could have at least mentioned a major problem he faced in Maryland.

O'Malley could have discussed the homicide crisis in Baltimore in 1999, when he was mayor of the city. From 1991 to 2001, Baltimore had more than 300 homicides a year, with 1999 being the deadliest year in that period. That number was down to 211 in 2014, O'Malley's last year as governor. He may have been reluctant to bring up Baltimore after Bernie Sanders said O'Malley shouldn't lecture him on guns, adding: "With all due respect, I think it's fair to say that Baltimore is not now one of the safest cities in America."

Although he didn't give an example of a specific instance, O'Malley did say that he knows how to manage people in a crisis. He said: "I have been tried under many different emergencies and I can tell you that in each of those emergencies, whether they were inflicted by drug gangs, whether they were natural emergencies, I knew how to lead and I knew how to govern because I know how to manage people in a crisis and be very clear about the goal of protecting human life."

At least he's experienced emergencies, I guess.