This piece is part of an ongoing series looking at the Democrats who are hoping for the chance to take on Trump in 2020
Name: Robert Francis O’Rourke, former Congressman, IG thot, and aspiring Beat poet
Hometown: Beto was born and raised of humble origins in El Paso, Texas, his father a lowly County Commissioner and County Judge and his father-in-law a $500 million real estate mogul called the “Warren Buffet of Real Estate”
Significant legislative accomplishments: He was one of the first people to take the hazy basement conversation of “I don’t understand why we can’t just legalize it man, I mean it’s way less dangerous than alcohol” and use it as platform to get elected to Congress
Key constituencies: People who were very excited about both Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders, suburban moms who haven’t gotten their calves cramped in years, guys whose glory days were when they had their own zine
Why he can win: Beto has that one thing that every political candidate dreams of but very few have the talent or moral courage to possess, a really large e-mail list. Although he ultimately lost his quixotic Senate campaign against Ted Cruz by just under 3 points, he became a national phenomenon, breaking every political convention by doing things like skateboarding in a Whataburger parking lot and giving a viral speech about why cops should not shoot unarmed black people in their own homes. His campaign broke every fundraising record imaginable so should he choose to run, he will have millions and millions of dollars to run TV and digital ads reminding suburban moms that while he might be a real world 6.5, in the realm of politics he’s a solid 10. He’s also a former English major who was in a couple of bands, used to smoke a lot of weed, and has some DUIs, so he is primed to pick up a lot of the same supporters that Bernie had in 2016.
Why he’ll lose: Like so many stoners who have gone before him, Beto has mastered the art of talking constantly without really saying anything of substance. Although he based much of his Senate campaign around the immigration issue, and leaned heavily on his experience in the border city of El Paso, when recently asked in an interview what he would recommend to fix his immigration his answer was more or less, “I don’t know man.” Sure, he seemed charming enough on stage next to Ted Cruz, but compared to trying to appear likable next to real life flesh and blood human beings with feelings and emotions, that’s just a little too much like dunking on mediocre high school competition and declaring yourself ready for the NBA. Handsome men have also done notoriously poorly in Democratic Presidential primaries. Martin O’Malley was jacked with a face that could clean up at the Fells Point bars at last call, and he wound up getting overshadowed by a geriatric Larry David impersonator. Eight years before that, 2008’s hottest contender John Edwards had rumors (ultimately proven true) of infidelity haunt his campaign because he just couldn’t stop slinging that dick.
Pretender or contender?: Should Beto choose to run, he would be a force to reckon with in the primaries. He would be one of the youngest and most charismatic politicians in the field with a grassroots fundraising prowess and social media savviness that would dwarf just about anyone else in the race. According to the rumor mill, much of Obama world is also very supportive of a potential Beto campaign and has been laying the groundwork behind the scenes to encourage a run. He is still very green on the national stage and has lots of room for mistakes, but if entered the race he would come in with less baggage and more inherent advantages than most candidates running.