WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a decade ago, Bill Clinton spotted a political star in the making, someone he predicted would go from a big-city mayor to a national leader – maybe even to the White House. “I won’t be surprised if you go all the way,” Clinton wrote in a 2002 letter to Baltimore’s mayor, Martin O’Malley.
In the years that followed, Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton showed up time and again as their young ally gained stature as governor of Maryland, hosting fundraisers, headlining rallies and connecting him to their sprawling network of political donors.
Now, O’Malley is just days away from walking down the path Clinton laid out for him more than a decade ago, as he prepares to announce his presidential campaign in Baltimore on May 30. And that means transforming himself from one of Hillary Clinton’s most loyal supporters into her chief adversary for the Democratic nomination.
“It’s certainly been a long and friendly relationship,” said Steve Kearney, a former O’Malley aide. “Times change. He clearly thought she was the best candidate in 2008. We’ll find out whether that remains true today.”