Monday, December 17, 2012

Will O'Malley put to death the death penalty?

John Wagner notes that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is entering his final two years in office with significant political capital at his disposal, but he hasn't tipped his hand yet on how he'll spend it.

Aides have said only that O’Malley will probably make another run at a wind bill, which would provide incentives for a renewable energy source off the Atlantic Coast. Sponsorship of the other measures — which seem to face longer odds — remains under discussion.

Here's what will be interesting -- O'Malley's been a vocal opponent of the death penalty, in the past, and some liberal groups are already pressuring him to make putting to death the death penalty a big part of his upcoming two years.

But being the face of the movement carries national risk.

Democrats might think he's a riskier pick for a general election in a country that still overwhelmingly supports the death penalty, and if he were ever able to win a nomination, he'd face the specter of running a general election race as an anti-death penalty, Northeastern governor -- a tough sell in the Midwest.