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Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley. Photo by: Getty

It's complicated: Why Hillary could have Gov. Martin O’Malley as rival or VP

\"Governor

Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley. Photo by: Getty

One of the biggest questions on the minds of Democrats is whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016.

Other questions include would anyone run against her in the primaries and who might be her VP pick?

Step forward Martin O'Malley on both possible fronts.

There are many rumors swirling about key Democrats, but it recently emerged that Maryland governor Martin O’Malley took the most direct step so far: placing a call to Clinton herself.

At a closed-door meeting in mid-April with some of his closest allies, Politico reports, O’Malley said that he had called Clinton and that she told him to ‘do what he needs to do.’

While that doesn’t reveal much about Clinton’s intentions, it says a lot about O’Malley’s.

It also may be Clinton's way of saying I need an opponent and not a coronation as Democratic candidate. O'Malley would also fit as a Hillary VP candidate, popular Irish Catholic from a North East state. Positively Bidenish

The Clintons like O'Malley. Blll appeared on stage at a fundraiser Wednesday night with O'Malley in Maryland for Anthony Brown', O'Malley's Lieutenant Governor who is running for governor because O'Malley is term-limited.

He praised O'Malley who he first met when O'Malley, then mayor of Baltimore was on a 1995 presidential trip delegation  to Ireland when Clinton was in the White House. "I think Martin O'Malley has done a great job," Clinton told the assembled Democrats.

 The Maryland governor has been carefully but consistently testing the campaign waters. At an event in Baltimore in February, he told reporters “Leadership is important and we will have a need for a new leader once President Obama’s term in office is over. . . So, I have been preparing in terms of the tough work, the policy work and the groundwork necessary to offer a better direction for our country.”

The article also notes that he recently visited key primary states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, and that he has been hosting and headlining Democratic fundraisers.

In March, O’Malley was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame by Irish America magazine. In April, he went on a five-day tour of Europe with 50 other U.S. politicians, which included a “congressional pilgrimage” to Ireland.

Still, the general consensus among Democrats still seems to be that if Clinton decides to run it is unlikely that O’Malley would go against her.

“What he’s trying to do is prepare himself for whatever may come,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D – MD) told Politico. “It’s hard for me to see him running against her because of their friendship and mutual respect for each other.”

The possibility of a Clinton-O’Malley ticket has also been raised. “He would be better off being a loyal soldier,” said Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania. “He actually would fit the demographic well as a vice president to Hillary.”

O’Malley’s team maintains that he has not made any decisions. Nor, they say, has he given supporters any reason to believe he is laying groundwork for a presidential campaign.

“Anyone who left the meeting with that impression is mistaken,” his spokeswoman Elizabeth Smith said in a statement. “The governor hasn’t made any decisions about his next steps and certainly did not voice any that day.”

“Gov. O’Malley has repeatedly said that he is looking at the possibility of running for president in 2016. The responsible thing is to be prepared for that possibility, and that’s what he’s trying to do.”

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