Beto O’Rourke hoped to make a huge impact on the 2020 presidential contest.
The former El Paso congressman had that spectacular run for the U.S. Senate in 2018, falling just a bit short of making history by becoming the first Democrat to win a statewide office in Texas since The Flood.
Then he decided to go for the bigger prize, parlaying the excitement he generated in Texas into a national craze.
It, um, the excitement didn’t translate.
Now he is known for perhaps the most spectacular presidential campaign collapse in recent memory. The one that seems to measure up to O’Rourke’s cratering occurred in 1972 when Democratic frontrunner Edmund Muskie seemingly cried in public in reaction to an unkind editorial in a New Hampshire newspaper.
O’Rourke now becomes a political footnote. He has saddened a lot of my Texas acquaintances and a few actual friends by declaring an end to his presidential bid.
O’Rourke forged a number of political alliances in the Texas Panhandle, a famously Republican-leaning region of Texas, during his Senate campaign. Many of his allies there hoped he could stampede to the front of the pack during a presidential run.
Well, he started at the front, but then faded as the rest of the large herd of candidates overtook him.
Look, to be honest I am among those who is disappointed Beto O’Rourke’s presidential candidacy failed to ignite. The field that remains is still full of considerable talent, along with a whack job or two, or maybe three.
They all have the same goal. They want to defeat Donald Trump in November 2020. So do I … want him defeated. If lightning strikes, hell freezes over and Earth spins off its axis Trump might be removed before then.
I do wish Beto O’Rourke would have been in that mix. He won’t.
Unless … the presidential nominee — who is not a white male — believes Beto O’Rourke can regain his wings as a VPOTUS nominee. It can’t happen? Here’s two words: Joe Biden.