To a certain extent, I feel a little bad for Beto O’Rourke. For a Texas Senate candidate, the guy was amazing. He has charm and charisma. Against an utter toad like Ted Cruz, he was a breath of fresh air. He has a lot of potential. But he made a huge error–he got high on his own supply. He believed he could be the Answer to Trump. But that put him on a new stage–one where his policies geared to run in Texas were disastrous. As a rather non-traditional politician, one who is not laser-focused and prone to taking long drives to working things out in his head, which are traits that are admirable in dealing with normal life but not in this realm, he lacks the discipline to play on the national stage. To say the least, his presidential campaign has been an unmitigated disaster.
In the days leading up to Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign, a top Republican opposition research firm was brimming with requests from political reporters angling for dirt.
America Rising, a political action committee that shared details of its internal inquiries with The Daily Beast, said the asks came from a dozen or more reporters and ranged from broad questions to more tailored points of interest.
But 10 weeks after O’Rourke’s official launch, those requests are virtually nonexistent.
“The requests for oppo on him have completely died off,” a staffer at the oppo group said.
The lack of oppo requests suggests a larger problem looming over O’Rourke’s campaign: a visible decline in public interest. Once elevated to the top of Democratic watch-lists, the former congressman is now registering in single digits in several national polls, nosediving from 12 percent in a Quinnipiac poll conducted in March to just 5 percent in the same survey in April.
And while he’s beginning to roll out new hires in key voting states, some say he’s already fallen behind other candidates whose field operations have been interfacing with voters for months.
The definition of being dead in the water is that no one cares anymore whether you are around or not. That’s where Beto is now. That’s highly unlikely to change. Whatever room there was for a centrist white man has been eaten up by Biden. And while Biden will probably fade due to his own lack of discipline, there’s not much reason to think Beto will be able to stick around to fill that gap.
But, hey, there’s still a solution. It’s by no means too late to drop out and run against the odious John Cornyn! That’s what Beto should have been doing from Day One. It’s an uphill battle. If you can’t beat Ted Cruz, it’s even harder to take on Cornyn, who is a scumbag himself but one who doesn’t literally leave behind a trail of greasy slime as he passes by, thus making him pretty normal for a Texas Republican. But those are the cards in which Beto has been dealt. It’s at least as plausible for him to beat Cornyn than it is to win the nomination. Moreover, the political gain for the country would be much greater. If he puts the energy into a Senate campaign in 2020 that he did in 2018, he also continues to slowly move Texas toward a potential swing state, which would transform the entire state of American politics.
I for one would enthusiastically endorse a Beto Senate run and I think many of you would too. Unfortunately, his white maleness will probably get in the way and his future will be more on the talking heads circuit and TED talks than where he needs to be.