The media and political fascination with Beto O’Rourke has commenced. It’s at full throttle already.
The former West Texas congressman announced his presidential candidacy this week, jetted off to Iowa and had the political media following his every move.
I heard one commentator gushing over how physically attractive he is and how O’Rourke already has ignited the national flame much as he did in Texas when in 2018 he came within a whoop and a holler of defeating U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
None of this early excitement is surprising. O’Rourke presents a different type of presidential challenger. He nearly defeated Cruz in a heavily Republican state. He ran close and hard with nary a political adviser to be found; he had no pollsters; he toured every one of Texas’s 254 counties.
He is pledging to do something similar as he runs for president. Good luck with that, young man.
I remain fervently on the fence regarding Beto O’Rourke. I am inclined to want to support him. I am just not there. I don’t know if I’ll get there. I’m thinking hard about it, along with the rest of the already-gigantic field of Democrats lining up for the chance run next year against Donald Trump.
The media fascination in a strange way seems to mirror the fascination they showed toward Trump as he announced his candidacy in 2015.
I don’t expect O’Rourke, though, to inflame animosity the way Trump did, even though the president likely owes the media debt of gratitude for elevating him from carnival barker to serious presidential candidate.
Welcome to the big time, Beto O’Rourke. This will be wild ride.