Because our presidential elections now run on a system that can be boiled down to “sure, why not me?” it looks like Beto O’Rourke might throw his hat into the already-overstuffed 2020 Democratic presidential primary ring.
O’Rourke may have lost his Senate race against Ted Cruz, and most people may only have the vaguest possible sense of his policy platform beyond “not Ted Cruz,” but why should that stop him? From a Sunday report in the New York Times (emphasis mine):
After a star-making turn in his close race against Senator Ted Cruz, Mr. O’Rourke is increasingly serious about a 2020 run — a development that is rousing activists in early-voting states, leading veterans of former President Barack Obama’s political operation (and Mr. Obama himself) to offer their counsel and hampering would-be rivals who are scrambling to lock down influential supporters and strategists as future campaign staff.
Barack Obama’s political operation has been very blatant about its desire to line up O’Rourke as a kind of successor. Obama fundraisers have announced that they’ll back O’Rourke if he runs in 2020, and his former staffers have written effusive op-eds about O’Rourke’s potential. As the Times noted, Obama himself has reportedly been chatting with O’Rourke.
It’s not hard to see why Obamaworld sees O’Rourke as one of their own. Just like Obama in 2008, O’Rourke is a relative political newcomer who went hard on optimistic rhetoric and inspired rapturous devotion even while remaining ideologically hard to pin down. He’s liberal but comfortable with the elite wing of the party—and with high finance. He’s run an innovative campaign and knows how to raise tons of money. Sound familiar?
O’Rourke is also now apparently “mindmelding” with rich people about his prospective campaign.
Lord help us. There’s nothing more inspiring in a candidate than huddling in secret with donors!
Anyway, we’ll soon find out if someone anonymous Democratic ghouls are actually referring to as “Barack Obama, but white” (seriously, HELP) will join the most cursed voyage of the damned in modern history.