If Not Hillary, Who? O’Malley in spotlight as Clinton fights media barrage

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from FoxNews,

Hillary Clinton’s political problems over foreign contributions to her family’s foundation and other issues appear to be fueling an appetite on the left for an insurgent primary challenge.

But while Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the darling of liberal groups, repeatedly has rebuffed appeals to enter the race — and other possible contenders such as former Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Vice President Biden have yet to make their move — former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is crisscrossing the country in what may be the most robust water-testing of any Democrat eyeing the not-Hillary vote.

He was in Hollywood this week for meetings with studio heavyweights. He was in Iowa earlier this month. And he’s making another trip to New Hampshire, site of the first-in-the-nation primary, in May.

In interviews, O’Malley says he’ll make a decision by the end of next month, and stresses that he admires Clinton greatly.

But analysts say O’Malley stands to benefit most from Clinton’s political troubles, and is positioning himself as the populist to her left — an honest Abe answer to what critics see as Clinton’s overly nuanced positions on issues like free trade.

“He’s the litmus test of Hillary’s liberal politics – or alleged liberal politics – because he is going to hold her feet to the fire,” Tom Whalen, author and professor of social science at Boston University, told FoxNews.com.

“So he will fight with her, at least to Iowa and New Hampshire if he is so inclined, and he can make her very uncomfortable,” Whalen added.

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