Beto O’Rourke reportedly is pondering whether to run for president of the United States in 2020. He told Oprah Winfrey he will decide by the end of March if he’s in the White House hunt. I believe the former Democratic congressman from West Texas has gotten stars in his eyes.
I would vote for him if lightning were to strike and he would face Donald Trump in the general election. However, he is not my first choice to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.
I’ve got that off my chest.
James Henson, director of the Texas Public Policy Project at the University of Texas-Austin, thinks O’Rourke’s best option is to challenge Sen. John Cornyn next year. Henson believes O’Rourke — who came within a chip shot of beating Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 — could defeat Cornyn.
Beto’s bubble isn’t about to burst. His candidacy against Cruz energized a heretofore moribund Texas Democratic Party as he campaigned in all 245 Texas counties. The GOP-heavy state hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide for more than two decades.
Is it time for a viable Democrat to crash through that wall in 2020? Perhaps. James Henson believes Beto is better suited to run against Cornyn than to take on a gigantic Democratic Party presidential primary field.
Henson wrote an essay for the Washington Post right after the 2018 election. You can see it here.
Whatever the young man from El Paso decides is in his future, it is becoming obvious that he intends to remain in pubic life. He wants to be elected to some sort of public office. I am not yet convinced he is ready to become president of the United States, although given a choice between Beto and The Donald in 2020, I wouldn’t flinch before casting my vote for the Texas Democrat.
However, I am thinking along the lines that James Henson has put forth: Beto O’Rourke stands a better chance of winning if he decides to take on Sen. John Cornyn.