Likely 2016 Candidate Waffles on War ... of 1812
But Martin O'Malley definitely knows how he would've ended it
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2015 9:45 AM CDT
Martin O'Malley at a commemorative event in Baltimore.   (Twitter)

(Newser) – With everyone on Jeb Bush's case for his wishy-washiness on whether we should've invaded Iraq, it's only fair to turn an eye toward how a presidential candidate from the Democrat side would have handled what the Guardian calls a "war of choice." And, since possible 2016 contender Martin O'Malley has enthusiastically offered up his feelings on the War of 1812, we're happy to oblige. The newspaper pressed the former Maryland governor to say whether he would've backed the decision to lead the country into war against Great Britain like President James Madison did. But while O'Malley hedged on that part, he was quite firm in how the war would have ended a second time around. "Not sure I'd start it again, but we would sure as heck finish it again," he told the Guardian.

To call O'Malley a War of 1812 fanboy would be an understatement. He admits he's inspired by the war, and the Daily Beast notes that his office as governor was decorated with 1812 memorabilia, including an image of the Battle of Fort McHenry. O'Malley has also dressed up in period uniform for re-enactments and performs with his band at commemorative events—including last year's 200th anniversary celebration for "The Star-Spangled Banner" (O'Malley and his band played "a rock ballad dedicated to the 1814 Battle of Baltimore," per the Baltimore Sun). But no worries, Canada, about future skirmishes on O'Malley's orders: Although he notes the War of 1812 failed in terms of annexing our neighbors to the north (one of the war's goals), O'Malley acknowledges, "I think that ship has sailed," per the Daily Beast.