Martin O'Malley's Democratic Debate Performance Is Pretty Desperate

The fourth Democratic Debate has been quite the event, with candidates passionately speaking out about gun control, economics, and police brutality. One presidential hopeful who sadly hasn't hit his mark is Martin O'Malley, whose Democratic debate performance has been incredibly lackluster. Following a question about campaign financing, O'Malley was desperate to defend himself against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, whom he had called out for her Wall Street ties. Though he appears a bit prepared, his presentation has been anything but polished.

It certainly hasn't helped that O'Malley has had markedly less time to address pressing questions on issues of gun control and police brutality. Statistics released by Politico less than halfway through the debate indicates that the former Maryland governor has had half as much time as either Bernie Sanders or Clinton. O'Malley's frustrations first began after he was cut off leading into a commercial break. Sen. Sanders was finishing moderator Lester Holt's question about the drug epidemic as O'Malley, could be heard desperately mumbling "just 10 seconds" as the camera panned away. After that moment, the last place polling candidate appeared to throw caution to the wind and act incredibly rude when awaiting questions from moderators Holt and Andrea Mitchell.

O'Malley appeared to play less on his voting record and more on pitting candidates against each other, working to garner favor with Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner. He once again called out his fellow candidates on what he sees as indecisiveness in the face of gun control before describing a poignant scene of visiting a boy who had been shot in the head while O'Malley was still serving his home state. He sided with Sanders regarding restricting the ownership of guns like AR-15s. From there, he appeared more and more flustered, angling to get any word in that he could.

One of the most awkward moments came when O'Malley repeatedly said "Andrea," trying to get the attention of one of the moderators. Perhaps his strangest moment was praising one of Holt's questions on President Obama's final State of the Union despite it not being directed at him. There appeared to be more moments of O'Malley angling for time, harkening back to former candidate Jim Webb's complaints that he hadn't been allowed enough opportunities to talk at all. Sure, Sanders and Clinton have been markedly louder during the fourth Democratic debate but neither have appeared as desperate or awkward. Perhaps this is the final sign that O'Malley should shift his focus away from campaigning and look towards a position that isn't the highest office in the land.

Image: Caroline Wurtzel for Bustle