This AP story from Ken Thomas and Brian Witte about Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will come as no great surprise to Political Animals:

On a trip to Israel last month to seemingly boost his foreign policy credentials, O’Malley disclosed publicly what had been arguably the worst-kept secret in Annapolis – that he would use the last half of this year to consider seeking the presidency. His Washington-area appearances at fundraisers Tuesday for Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and June 12 for Iowa Senate candidate Bruce Braley are certain to raise eyebrows even further given that the two candidates represent states that traditionally weigh in first in a Democratic primary….

Aides say O’Malley, now the DGA’s finance chairman, will spend more time in places with active governors’ races in 2014 – states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida – giving him a way to court the party’s elite without the media glare of early primary states. He also is scheduled to address the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to the Obama administration, on May 30.

This is what’s often called “laying the foundation” for a presidential run. It comes with a risk of skewing one’s perspective when you can enjoy the benefits of being treated like you just might wind up being the Next President of the United States without any imminent prospect of defeat, much less such painful realities of begging donors to make payroll as your poll standings deteriorate and even the media lose interest.

As O’Malley moseys up towards the starting line and awaits the big word from Hillary Clinton about her plans, it’s a good time to read or re-read Haley Sweetland Edwards’ cover article from the May-June issue of the Washington Monthly on O’Malley’s credentials to run for and serve as president. It’s as thorough a profile as you could want, particularly in these days when a White House address for O’Malley is more a daydream than a practical goal.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.