Beto O’Rourke Quits the Presidential Race. Will We Ever See Him Again?

Slate Politics 1 month ago
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke  speaks at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and CNN presidential town hall focused on LGBTQ issues on October 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressmen who kept the glossy magazine business afloat during his captivating 2018 Senate challenge to Ted Cruz, dropped out of the presidential race Friday afternoon ahead of a planned weekend in Iowa, where he was polling at about 1 percent.

“Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully,” O’Rourke—who raised a ton of money in the first day of his campaign, before not raising much more money—wrote on Medium. “My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee. Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country.”

He has consistently ruled out the possibility of switching to the 2020 Senate race in Texas to run against Republican Sen. John Cornyn, the race that many felt he should’ve gotten into in the first place. At this point, the embarrassing flatlining of his national campaign, as well as a couple of provocative positions he staked out in the desperate last days of his presidential run, would hinder his chances anyway.

Beto! He is a nice man. And when positioned as the alternative to Ted Cruz in a state where Democrats hadn’t won a Senate seat in decades, he was a great candidate, even if he came up a few percentage points short. He was less of a force against, say, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, or Bernie Sanders, those with whom he would be competing for young voters’ affections. In the first two debates, he was slow-footed, allowing him to be slapped around by candidates, like Julian Castro, who needed to get attention by picking an argument against someone who looked half-asleep.

O’Rourke’s campaign found a second wind following the mass shooting in El Paso, O’Rourke’s hometown, in early August. After some time off the trail, he returned newly energized and armed with both profanity and a nothing-to-lose spirit. He endorsed one of the most ambitious gun control policies of the primary—a mandatory buyback of assault-style firearms like AR-15s—a moment that produced his most memorable clip of the campaign in the September presidential debate. He was not rewarded with any bounce in the polls.

Eventually, though, O’Rourke’s bold, activist streak started to play like schtick. Not all of his radical positions were as personally felt as his one on guns, and instead he seemed to be simply saying “yes” to whatever was asked of him. During an LGBTQ town hall in early October, O’Rourke was asked if he thought “religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?”

“Yes,” he said. His “yes,” in this case, sounded less like someone who had arrived at this position after years of deep thought or a moment of personal tragedy than the auto-response of someone whose latest branding campaign, Boldness, required a “yes” when a question was asked a certain way.

In an interview last month, when asked about whether he would run for another office this cycle, or ever, O’Rourke said that he “cannot fathom a scenario where I would run for public office again if I’m not the nominee.”

This might have sounded like a politician trying to express his commitment to the  current race while leaving a little wiggle room for himself in case he changed his mind. After a few reads, though, it comes across as painfully honest. I, too, cannot fathom a scenario where Beto O’Rourke runs for public office again. Rep. Veronica Escobar is an excellent successor to his old House seat, and besides, why would he want to go back to the House? Future runs for statewide office in Texas would have ready-made attack ads awaiting him about how he wants to take guns and tax churches. He could try to resettle in another, bluer state in which to run a Senate race, like neighboring New Mexico, but “moving to New Mexico to run for Senate” would be strange, and New Mexico doesn’t need him. He could also wait another ten years for Texas to turn bluer. But in ten years, who is Beto O’Rourke?

He could have a stint in the next Democratic administration, assuming there is one, and then retire to be a real estate developer or something. He seems to feel—and if we know anything about Beto O’Rourke, it’s that he feels things—that if he can’t be president, though, he doesn’t want to be in electoral politics anymore. He’s relatable after all.


Source link
Read also:
Business Insider › Politics › 1 month ago
Beto O'Rourke is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race. He also won't run for the Senate in 2020 against Texas Sen. John Cornyn. O'Rourke emerged as a promising young candidate who competed well in a difficult statewide race against Sen. Ted Cruz...
New York Post › 1 month ago
President Trump said Beto O’Rourke “quit like a dog” in response to the former Texas congressman’s Friday announcement that he was dropping out of the presidential race. “When Beto quit like … he quit like a dog. I said, ‘See people think...
Business Insider › Politics › 1 month ago
US President Donald Trump on Friday mocked former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke after he confirmed that he would drop out of the race to become the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020. Speaking at a rally in Mississippi after O'Rourke announced...
Business Insider › Politics › 1 month ago
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke dropped out of the 2020 race. About 20% of Democrats would have been satisfied with him as the nominee, even if he wasn't their first choice. With O'Rourke out of the race, three quarters of people who like him also like Sen...
New York Post › 1 month ago
Beto luck next time! Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rouke has dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential contest. “I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee,” O’Rourke tweeted Friday...
Raw Story › 1 month ago
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke has announced that he’s leaving the 2020 race for president. The New York Times reported the announcement Friday, writing it like an obituary highlighting his time as a candidate. O’Rourke also said that he doesn’t...
The Sun › 1 month ago
DEMOCRAT Beto O’Rourke has pulled out of the 2020 presidential race after running out of money. The 47-year-old former-Texas congressman revealed in a tweet that he did not have the “means to move forward successfully.” This now leaves 17...
Breitbart › Politics › 1 month ago
Former Rep. Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke (D-TX) is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, according to a report.
CBS News › 1 month ago
Former Congressman Beto O'Rourke ended his presidential campaign on Friday. The news broke just hours before O'Rourke was expected to speak with the rest of the Democratic candidates at a dinner in Iowa. Ed O'Keefe and Caitlin Huey-Burns joined CBSN to...
The Hill › 1 month ago
President Trump mocked Beto O'Rourke in a tweet Friday shortly after news broke he would drop out of the Democratic presidential primary race."Oh no, Beto just dropped out of race for President despite him saying h...
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR