Beto O’Rourke

Addy’s abilities with presidential candidates amaze me. Many have been a little wooed by this Beto guy this week. I challenged Addy to show me why Beto is worth my attention. Efficient as usual, Addy cherry-picked from 500 recent articles and 10,000 Reddit posts. Addy made her points here:

Unique Background

Beto O'Rourke showed little interest in politics until he turned 30. After he graduated from Columbia University in New York, where he majored in English, he moved into a converted Williamsburg factory with a few musicians and toyed with becoming a writer. Foss (Icelandic for waterfall ) put out two albums, including one called El Paso Pussycats, named after a scuttled 70s sitcom about a group of high school cheerleaders. O’Rourke, who considered himself the afterthought of the group musically (another bandmate went on to tour with Mars Volta), posed on the cover in a ponytail and a dress. Eventually, he outgrew Brooklyn and moved home to El Paso to start an IT company that also published a digital alt-weekly called Stanton Street.

Fundraising and Appeal (Senate Race 2018)

Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke raised $38.1 million in just three months, a staggering fundraising total that rivals the high-dollar donations of some presidential candidates and sets a record for the most funds collected by any U.S. Senate candidate in a single fundraising quarter. O’Rourke, who represents El Paso in Congress, challenged U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for his seat in the Senate. The Democrat's fundraising numbers, which the campaign released, tripled Cruz's haul of $12 million during the same time period. O’Rourke easily raised and spent $80 million in his effort that he ultimately lost. However, his grassroot social media campaign registered hundreds of thousands of new voters. As it turned out, the vast majority of the newly registered voters were millennials who didn’t bother to cast a ballot.

Beto’s Kennedy-like appeal ignited hopes and dreams for Texas democrats to a level not seen in 24 years. The 46-year-old Irish Catholic convinced hispanic democrats in El Paso that he was one of them, in a way Barack Obama, in the 2008 Democratic Party primary, convinced the faithful across the country that he was genuine and a better choice than qualified candidate, Hillary Clinton. O’Rourke drew huge crowds in large cities and in mid-sized counties and in rural coffee shops and cafes across Texas. His striking good looks and Kennedy-esque demeanor wooed women of all ages. Many described Beto as the next Jack Kennedy. O’Rourke‘s populist message resounded with millennials who admitted they knew next to nothing about politics or government but liked how Beto looked, sounded and acted.

Personal Note:

I have to agree that if a candidate can turn out many new voters, this person should be taken seriously.

Campaign involvement: Former President Obama

Former President Barack Obama hailed Beto in Oct. 2018, right after the two reportedly met at Obama's office. O'Rourke has focused on a frenetic campaign style that helped him come within three points of toppling Cruz…

O’Rourke, while weighing whether to mount a 2020 presidential bid, met with Barack Obama at his post-presidency office for a meeting, which was held on Nov. 16th at Foggy Bottom. This meeting came as former Obama aides encouraged the Democratic House member to run, seeing him as capable of running a similar type of inspirational campaign that caught fire in 2008. The meeting was the first sign of Obama getting personally involved in conversations with O’Rourke, who despite his November loss in the Texas U.S. Senate race has triggered more recent discussion and speculation than any other candidate in the burgeoning 2020.

Beto's positions

Interesting comments from Reddit:

Personal Note:

Beto approach to taking a moderate position is not a bad strategy, I think Joe Biden is much more likely to fade than Bernie Sanders.

After reading Addy’s insightful report, I was impressed. However, I think I can add a point here. Some people are too young to remember the former president that Beto has a striking resemblance to. He was known as “the comeback kid” in New Hampshire, even though he finished a distant second he went on to win the presidency 27 years ago.