Democrat wunderkind Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is a man to watch as the race to become the Democratic contender in 2020 begins.
He is planning a “solo” road trip to find out if he has the support among Democrats to mount a credible run, and a “Draft Beto” movement has begun in two states.
Many Democrats view O’Rourke, who affects a Kennedy-like mien, as the most electable star in the leftist firmament, even calling him the next Barack Hussein Obama.
And they believe that despite — or perhaps because of — his loss to incumbent Senator Ted Cruz in November.
No Aides, No Press
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that O’Rourke “is asking aides to create an itinerary for him to take a solo road trip outside of Texas where he would “‘pop into places’ such as community college campuses.”
O’Rourke will strike out from home in El Paso, the newspaper reported, detour around Iowa and other states with early caucuses and primaries, and won’t take staffers or any adoring media. He might write about the trip on social media.
O’Rourke is wildly popular among Democrats and their media allies, who practically drooled over the former congressmen when he ran against Cruz. O’Rourke raised more than $80 million to finance the losing effort.
As for his policy positions, O’Rourke is a garden-variety leftist whose demeanor and physical appearance are less threatening than say, Rashida Tlaib, the newly-elected congresswoman from Michigan.
O’Rourke strongly supports the “LGBTQIA” movement and the idea that men who think they are women deserve “equal rights” instead of mental healthcare. He wants to spend more taxpayer money on public schools and higher education, and would push for multiple unconstitutional gun-control measures under the guise of “gun safety.” Of course, he favors abortion on demand, the party’s sine qua non of a serious Democratic candidacy.
In other words, he’s a perfect candidate for the Democratic Party.
And if Politico is correct, the owl entrails portend a run for the 46-year-old from Texas.
The webzine reported that he is “getting a significant lift in the early nominating states of South Carolina and Nevada, with operatives in both states joining an effort to draft O’Rourke into the presidential campaign.”
Boyd Brown, a Democratic big-hitter, told Politico he will be a “national senior adviser” to the effort. Brown’s reason for supporting the relative unknown? He is, again, a Kennedy-like “rock star.” “When a once in a generation politician comes along, you’ve got to support him,” Brown told the webzine.
As well, the group will hire a top-flight political consultant from Nevada, Michael Soneff, as the state director for the draft O’Rourke effort in Nevada.
O’Rourke’s partisans also plan to hire strategists in the important primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland who tried running for president briefly against the Clinton machine in 2016, has announced that he will support O’Rourke.
Trouble for Biden
The O’Rourke insurgency could mean big trouble for Joe Biden, who is old enough to be O’Rourke’s father and will be 78 in 2021 if he beats Trump and take the oath of office.
The 76-year-old pro-abortion Democrat from Delaware is leading other candidates in the latest polls, and told friends that he is the only Democrat who can make a credible run against President Trump.
The problem for Biden is his age and race, and whether party faithful will support him. Younger, more radical, and more ethnically and racially-charged politicians are seeking control of the party. They think its Caucasian gerontocracy must step aside. O’Rourke, of course, is white, but he speaks fluent Spanish and uses a Spanish nickname, perhaps to appeal to Hispanic voters.
The other candidates, the Journal noted, include socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who, like Biden, says he’ll run if he doesn’t think another candidate can beat Trump.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has already visited Iowa, while Senator Kamala Harris, the California Democrat who lied repeatedly about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings, is planning a book tour.
Other possible contenders in the Senate include Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
The crowded field of potential candidates also includes Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and two former mayors, Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans and Michael Bloomberg of New York.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is also thinking of a run.
Photo: AP Images