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Best Politician

Martin O’Malley

Love him or hate him, this has been a good year for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D). Two O’Malley-backed laws got the nods of the majorities of Maryland voters in last fall’s elections—one granting gay-marriage rights, the other offering in-state tuition discounts for qualifying illegal immigrants (the DREAM Act).This spring he signed into law the death-penalty repeal he’d long sought as well as sweeping gun restrictions. What’s more, by slowing spending growth while adding new revenue, he’s all but obliterated a $1.7 billion structural deficit that had long dogged Maryland’s budgets. These accomplishments have prompted talk that he’ll be a good 2016 candidate for president. Whatevs. The guy’s not all that. Since O’Malley was elected mayor of Baltimore in 1999, we’ve found him to be a cutthroat, manipulative Machiavellian prone to prideful preening, but maybe that’s precisely what makes him so effective. He has, after all, been a pretty good governor, especially this year.

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