Democrats Air Their Doubts About Beto O’Rourke | NTK Network Democrats Air Their Doubts About Beto O’Rourke

Democrats Air Their Doubts About Beto O’Rourke

“He’s a shiny new object,” one Democrat senator dismissively said of O’Rourke.

By NTK Staff | 12.10.2018 @10:15am
Democrats Air Their Doubts About Beto O’Rourke

No candidate for office in 2018 got more attention than Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke. After his loss to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in November, scores of Democrats have encouraged the 46-year-old to run for president in 2020.

But not everyone is on board with “Betomania.” For one thing, at least one Senate Democrat is worried O’Rourke is simply too liberal to lead the party in 2020:

One Democratic senator, who requested anonymity to comment frankly on O’Rourke’s political stock, said that while he is popular with activists and the Democratic base, he may be too liberal to win a general election.

“I think he’s charismatic,” the senator said. “But the interesting thing to me is that when you look at Arizona and Texas, Trump won the two states by the same amount. Both states have gone about 30 years without electing a Democrat to the Senate. In Arizona, [Democratic candidate Kyrsten] Sinema ran as a moderate. In Texas, Beto ran as a progressive. She won, he lost.

“Barack Obama did better in rural Texas than Beto did,” the lawmaker added. “He’s a shiny new object.”

Last week, former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, latched on to the fact that O’Rourke ultimately fell short in his statewide contest. “You don’t usually promote a loser to the top of party,” he said.

“The jury is out,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said about O’Rourke’s future. Durbin noted that unlike O’Rourke, Obama launched his national profile at a DNC convention in 2004, served two years in the U.S. Senate, and then launched his presidential campaign in 2006. O’Rourke will be out of a job in January.

And O’Rourke may be following the Obama playbook even closer than some realized. The Washington Post reported that O’Rourke met with Obama just days after his Senate loss. It’s not clear whether the former president encouraged O’Rourke to run in 2020, but Obama did call O’Rourke an “impressive young man” in a recent interview.

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