Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley clearly thought he had nothing more to lose in the contest for the Democratic presidential bid. From the first second of his opening statement, Martin O'Malley went full YOLO in the Democratic debate, interrupting his rivals and inserting himself pretty much wherever he saw fit. And Twitter loved every minute of it. I'll be honest — watching firmly from my couch, I loved every minute of O'Malley's quick-witted comments and replies.
To be fair, O'Malley really doesn't have much to lose at this point. As a candidate, he's struggled to find his place in a field dominated by frontrunner (and party favorite) Hillary Clinton and the frank anti-establishment appeal of Democratic socialist and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. And the proof is in the polling: so far, O'Malley has yet to break single digits in terms of voter popularity. But that didn't stop O'Malley from bringing the heat tonight.
Though the Democratic playing field might not be as vast as the GOP's, getting in front of potential voters is the name of the game. And, in order to do that, a candidate like O'Malley — who isn't exactly the frontrunner but hasn't exactly called off his campaign — needs to assert himself. Voters need to know he's present and that he's vocal and committed to his plans. The quickest way to communicate those things when you're sharing the stage with two candidates who are a leg up and thousands of votes ahead? Capitalize on every possible opportunity that presents itself.
Of course, that doesn't mean that O'Malley should seize every moment as if it's his last, but it does but the pressure is on to make those moments count. And um, you bet O'Malley made the most of every moment. The man honestly inspired #YOLOgoals.
Here's what he had to say ... and how Twitter reacted:
O'Malley Was Pumped From The Very Start
During his opening statement, the normally sedate O'Malley gave off some seriously intense vibes. He made it clear that he was ready for battle, but unclear just how far he intended to go. Lucky for us, O'Malley was ready to take us all to church.
There Was His Whole Gun Control Rant
O'Malley didn't hesitate to step right over the other candidates — and the moderators — to rant for a bit on gun control. Moderator David Muir tried to get him to dial it back, but no dice. O'Malley was on a roll.
Moderator "Just a minute Gov. O'Malley." Which is a codeword for "Why are you still running? Nobody CARES!" #DemDebate— chilltowntv (@chilltowntv) December 20, 2015
watching a real-time stress cold sore slowly form on Martin O'malley's face #DemDebate— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 20, 2015
And Giving The Other Candidates His Fierce Look
O'Malley's side-eye knows no bounds.
That Time When Bernie — Of All People — Had To Get Him To Calm Down
When O'Malley attempted to skewer the Vermont senator over his voting record on gun control, Sanders replied "Let's calm down a little bit, Martin." You know things have taken a turn when Bernie Sanders tells you you've gone over the edge.
O’Malley is in full YOLO mode, interrupting at every opportunity, talking over people, yelling into his mic. #DemDebate— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) December 20, 2015
When He Basically Called The Other Candidates Old
In an exchange over the U.S.' role in world security, O'Malley took a pretty ageist jab at his two rivals: "May I offer a different generation's perspective on this?" he asked, which earned him plenty of boos from the crowd.
#DemDebate O'Malley just called Hillary old. Now he's gonna move from 0% in the polls, to -0%.— email@example.com (@alpha1906) December 20, 2015
When He Regaled Us With All His Super-Witty Anecdotes
There was no way O'Malley was going to exit the stage a stranger to the voting public. All night, the former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor kept inserting little stories into his answer to let everyone know that — no matter what happens in the primaries — Martin O'Malley at least has plenty of friends.
If we had five dollars for every one of O'Malley's anecdotes, no more budget deficit. #DemDebate— Winston Ross (@winston_ross) December 20, 2015
Goddammit OMalley how many anonymous friends do you have with weirdly relevant life stories #DemDebate— Andy Cobb (@AndyCobb) December 20, 2015
When He Kept Everyone On The Defense All Night
While Sanders and Clinton certainly took plenty of opportunities to push their own agendas, they both had to spend precious minutes defending themselves against O'Malley's (slightly wacky) attack strategy all night. And that probably isn't the best use of time at this stage of the game.
It was clear that O'Malley wasn't going to leave the stage without at least being recognized as a sassy, low-polling candidate.
Image: Andrew Burton/Getty Images