Beto O’Rourke is Running for President Because He Can
Primary season is just getting started. And every candidate is being hammered by media proxies for their approximate rivals.
Beto O’Rourke's slow, confused rollout is, on the one hand, a train wreck that rivals only Tulsi Gabbard's campaign launch, on the other it defines him as a different sort of candidate. He's running for office without really caring about the mechanics of it, signifying that he's not really a politician, even though he actually is a career politician. It's an Obama routine. And much of O'Rourke's routine is Obamaesque.
The slow rollout made it harder for his foes to time their attacks, but the media hit pieces are beginning to roll out because he's now, sorta, announced. And the hit pieces amount to attacks pointing out that...
1. Robert Francis O'Rourke is a white man.
2. He has no real message, doesn't stand for much of anything, and is just running because he's popular.
The latter is a point.
The 2020 Dem field is long on big names and money, and short on even the most elementary forms of charisma. That's one reason Biden is ahead without even having announced. The current field consists of Bernie Sanders, an angry rambling socialist, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, desperately doing their best Hillary impression of being normal human beings, Elizabeth Warren, who has stuck to doing the hateful petty side of Hillary, and assorted politicians just showing up, like the Mayor of South Bend, one of the worst cities in America, and Julian Castro, because why not.
Beto... why not? In a field of people you wouldn't want to be trapped on a bus in a snowstorm with, he's the least unpleasant of them. It's a low bar. But it's the only bar that counts.
O'Rourke is Obamaesque. He's vain, full of himself, his sentences are filled with rambling pseudo-intellectual references to his own hipness, and a narcissistic lack of self-awareness that only truly vacuous people are capable of projecting as charisma.
He's a poor man's Obama. But Obama was a poor man's JFK. As was Bill Clinton.
We live in an age of diminishing expectations.
O'Rourke is running because he can. He has no real message, but consultants will help him find one funded by the donations of his fanbase. And his message will be the entire field's message, ground up, chewed over and vomited up again.