After making a big splash by almost but not quite toppling Sen Ted Cruz from his senate seat in Texas, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke decided that it was time to parlay his loss to a run for the presidency. He made an impressive announcement speech in El Paso before an equally impressive crowd. However, it has all been downhill from there. Currently, Beto is polling somewhere between two percent and one percent and has barely made the third debate, ironically to take place in Houston in December.
Then came the mass shootings that took place in Dayton and Beto’s home town in El Paso. As Hot Air notes, the candidate has been milking the tragedy for all its worth, casting himself as the face of El Paso. He hopes that the massacres will propel him back up to at least the top tier and give him a fighting chance to get some delegates when the primaries begin in earnest next year.
The Houston Chronicle has tossed a grenade into the midst by publishing an editorial begging Beto to give up his run for the presidency and instead run for the Senate next year against the incumbent John Cornyn, a Republican.
“For too long, Texas officials have had only to consider how far to the right they must go to stay in office. No one is asking whether there might be a good idea or two on the Democratic side of things. We need you, Beto because Texas badly needs that other view of the world, those differing opinions. You’ve brought us closer to having real, competing parties than any other candidate has, and than any candidate on our radar could.
“Would you beat John Cornyn, who is seeking his fourth term? It wouldn’t be easy. You’d have to fight for it and do better than you did against Cruz. But a lot has changed since 2018 — you had a lot to do with that — and Trump is no longer rock-solid in Texas. Neither are the Republicans who support him.
“Imagine the effect you could have on our state. Ideas get sharper when they’re challenged, when points of view clash. We think Texas will get smarter, and its politics more sophisticated, if campaigns here were a true test of ideas, not one-sided races set to autopilot.”
One thing is clear. While the public has cooled on the idea of Betomania, the media has not yet gotten the memo. Another case is point has been a fawning article written for the Daily Beast by Margaret Carlson.
“It’s rare to get a second chance to make a first impression, to go home again, to get your groove back. Beto O’Rourke has done all three as he climbed down from running for president to remain in his hometown of El Paso in the aftermath of the greatest trauma in Texas since JFK was assassinated.”
Beto has left off campaigning in Iowa to return to El Paso. However, by all accounts, he is getting a lot more free media there than he would ever get as just one of many in the first caucus state. It may not be to his advantage, however.
The candidate has been following the party line by blaming President Trump’s “racism” for the shootings. The line, albeit shared by most of the other candidates, has been debunked by none other than Donna Brazile, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee,
Beto has gone a lot further, however. When asked how anyone can support President Trump because of his obvious racism, he opined that it would be “really hard” not to think Trump’s supporters must be racist as well. He has, in effect, mimicked the Hillary Clinton trope calling people who oppose her “deplorables.” President Obama once made a similar statement by calling white, working-class people who cling bitterly to “their God and their guns.”
Still, the Chronicle expressed the hope that O’Rourke coming home will increase the chances of Texas becoming a blue state. Democrats hope and some Republicans fear that the GOP will lose more offices next year and perhaps see Texas be carried by a Democrat if it’s Joe Biden. The lost of several House seats in 2018 and some retirements of some Republican House members would tend to buttress this view.
On the other hand, other analysts wonder how one proposes to win an election if one starts by insulting an entire class of persuadable voters? Something to ponder.