Sorry, Martin O’Malley. Band-Aids Don’t Fix Bullet Holes.


Martin O’Malley’s bid to win the Democratic presidential nomination isn’t going so swell. The former Maryland governor is hovering around 1 percent in most polls. So he went on ABC’s The View Tuesday morning with the hopes of showing that he’s hip with the youths. Guitar in lap, O’Malley noted that Katy Perry will be performing at a Hillary Clinton rally in Iowa this weekend, so O’Malley performed a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” in response.

Normally this would be filed away as the typical TV stunt of a candidate desperate for attention as his campaign flounders. But O’Malley subtly indicated that he has strong feelings on one of the great questions of our time: Is “Bad Blood” a scathing diss track aimed at Perry?

When Taylor Swift dropped her album 1989 last year, “Bad Blood” received extra hype from the PR machine. This wasn’t the normal lovelorn tale of a Starbucks lover an ex-lover, but in fact a yarn about beef between Swift and a rival pop megastar. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Swift detailed an off-and-on frenemy relationship with a female songstress she declined to name, saying that their iffy relationship eventually took a turn for the ugly. “She did something so horrible,” Swift said. “I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’ And it wasn’t even about a guy! It had to do with business. She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I’m surprisingly non-confrontational—you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It’s awkward, and I don’t like it.”

Swift has since been less than steadfast to that explanation, hinting recently to GQ that she might have initially been lying and that it truly was about an ex-boyfriend. Swift’s friend Selena Gomez, who makes a cameo in the “Bad Blood” music video and would likely have inside knowledge, passed when a Bravo TV host recently asked if the song was about Perry.

While the world may never know the truth behind Swift’s inspiration for the song, O’Malley seems to be inserting himself into the supposed feud and siding with Swift. Whether Clinton follows Perry’s lead and responds with a diss track of her own remains to be seen.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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