BEAVERDALE, Iowa — Former Maryland governor and Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley treated supporters to an impromptu performance on Friday, serenading them during a campaign stop in Iowa.
Following his remarks at a local pub in Beaverdale, O’Malley was handed a guitar, and led a song session while standing on a chair.
“Oh, a guitar, really,” O’Malley said with a smile on his face. “It’s miraculous how these things emerge.”
O’Malley is no stranger to picking up a guitar and belting out a tune. Since 1988, he’s been a member of a Celtic rock band called O’Malley’s March, where he sings and plays the guitar and banjo.
“Right now the band is about seven people. We don’t play that often, but when we do, we make a lot of music,” O’Malley told The Huffington Post.
According to the man President Barack Obama once affectionately called a “rocker,” this isn’t the first campaign event where he’s sung his heart out, and it certainly won’t be the last.
“Every event is a little different, but it isn’t unusual at the end of the night for somebody to bring out a guitar,” he said. “Music is all that keeps us here. It’s a great way for people to connect.”
Iowa has been a central focus of O’Malley’s campaign, although he is not seeing that effort reflected in the polls. In a recent Quinnipiac poll, only 7 percent of voters viewed the former Maryland governor favorably, while 11 percent viewed him unfavorably. The remaining 82 percent responded that they hadn’t heard enough about him to form an opinion.
Following O’Malley’s musical performance on Friday, campaign staffers collected nearly a dozen commit-to-caucus forms, a possible sign that voters were digging more than the tunes.
The former Maryland governor sang “Scare Away the Dark” by Passenger, asking Iowans to sing along during the chorus.
“I think I need to expand my repertoire,” he said with a smirk. When asked if he’d sing any original songs, O’Malley said, “I guess you’ll have to keep coming to find out.”