Barack Obama is handing out political endorsements the way GIs handed out chocolate bars during World War II.
The former president has endorsed 11 Texas candidates — all Democrats, of course. Beto O’Rourke, the Democrat in the middle of a dogfight campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz hasn’t received an endorsement from the 44th president.
Not surprisingly, O’Rourke says he isn’t worried about it. He told the Texas Tribune he doesn’t need an endorsement from President Obama. According to the Tribune: “I don’t think we’re interested (in an endorsement)” O’Rourke said after a town hall … “I am so grateful to him for his service, he’s going to go down as one of the greatest presidents. And yet, this (election) is on Texas.”
There might be a couple of ways one can take that statement. One is that President Obama isn’t terribly popular in Texas; he lost the state to GOP rivals John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012. Another is that the Texas election deals uniquely with Texas issues and that an endorsement from a national politician carries little weight.
Whatever he means, my sense is that he won’t disavow an Obama endorsement were it to come between now and Election Day.
How could a candidate refuse such a blessing from someone who — and I agree with O’Rourke on this one — is going to be remembered as one of the nation’s “greatest presidents”?