Obama Alums Are Gaga Over Beto O’Rourke, But Will He Run in 2020? Obama Alums Are Gaga Over Beto O’Rourke, But Will He Run in 2020? – NTK Network

Obama Alums Are Gaga Over Beto O’Rourke, But Will He Run in 2020?

“There isn’t one other potential candidate out there that has people buzzing. And that’s exactly why people supported Obama and why they’ll support Beto.”

By NTK Staff | 11.28.2018 @12:30pm
Obama Alums Are Gaga Over Beto O’Rourke, But Will He Run in 2020?

Former Obama aides are struggling to conceal their excitement for failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, according to a new report by Amie Parnes of The Hill. In short, these former aides see a bit of their old boss in O’Rourke, who fell short to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the Texas Senate race earlier this month.

Numerous aides who spoke to Parnes cited the “enthusiasm” generated by O’Rourke’s Senate campaign, and drew a direct line between that energy and the fervor that surrounded Barack Obama’s early Senate career and presidential campaign.

“That ability to make people feel invested in his campaign and his story does remind me of Obama ‘08,” said David Litt, who served as a speechwriter in the Obama White House. “You see the crowds and the enthusiasm, the kind of movement that isn’t about me but about us.”

Another former Obama aide noted that the Democratic Party hasn’t been this energized about a candidate since Obama, implying the party needs him to run for president in 2020:

“The party hasn’t seen this kind of enthusiasm since Obama,” the aide said. “There isn’t one other potential candidate out there that has people buzzing. And that’s exactly why people supported Obama and why they’ll support Beto.”

Dan Pfeiffer, a longtime Obama communications aide, even went so far as to say the enthusiasm for O’Rourke’s Senate bid outpaced the enthusiasm generated by Obama’s 2004 race. “I have never seen a Senate candidate — including Obama in 2004 — inspire the sort of enthusiasm that Beto did in this race,” he said.

Even the man himself, former President Barack Obama, commented on O’Rourke’s campaign, calling him an “impressive young man who ran a terrific race.”

O’Rourke, 46, reversed course earlier this week and said he wasn’t ruling out a 2020 presidential campaign. But if he does run, he’ll likely face pointed questions about his age and experience from Democrats who have long been expected to mount presidential campaigns, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), to name a few.

Outside of grassroots enthusiasm, O’Rourke showed himself to be an impressive fundraiser, bringing in more than $70 million over the course of the campaign. If any of those 2020 Democrats are going to take him on, they will need to fill their campaign coffers quickly.

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