Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, appearing on ABC's This Week, all but announced he plans to run against Hillary Clinton.
"Let's be honest here," O'Malley said. "The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families."
The governor has taken three trips to Iowa to assess a run, a decision he'll make "in the spring." But O'Malley's rhetoric certainly pointed toward a run.
"Look, in order for us to make an economy again where people can work hard and get ahead, we need a president who is on our side, a president who is willing to take on powerful, wealthy, special interests in order restore that sort of American economy where wherever you start on the earnings spectrum, you can get ahead through your hard work. That's not the economy we have today," he said.
O'Malley has co-opted issues that have vaulted Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to the forefront, but she has declared she won't run in 2016. That leaves O'Malley to preach about income inequality and wage stagnation -- which he has done for the past few months.
He brushed off claims that Hillary is the inevitable nominee. "History is full of times when the inevitable frontrunner is inevitable right up until he or she is no longer inevitable," O'Malley said.
At one point, host George Stephanopoulos got up in his grille.
But I wonder what you say to the people of Maryland. Polls done back in October, they were asked would Martin O'Malley make a good president. 70 percent said no. And this poll back in October had you well back in the pack of Democrats behind Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
These are the people that know you best.
O'MALLEY: Well, we came off a -- we had just come off a contentious campaign there. And I think the most important thing, though, is George, that if you look at the record of accomplishments in Maryland, five years in a row creating the number one public schools in the country, reducing violent crime to 35-year lows, history is full of times when the inevitable front-runner is inevitable right up until he or she is no longer inevitable.
And I believe that what people want, especially this year, is someone with proven executive experience, the ability to get things done rather than putting their finger in the wind and looking for popularity, the ability to be honest with people and lay out the choices that we have to make as a free people to build a good economy for our kids.