Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
On Friday November 1, another Democratic nominee for the 2020 Presidential race dropped out…
“Although it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully,” conceded Robert ‘Beto’ Francis O’Rourke, the 47-year-old, former representative from Texas’ 16th congressional district in a post on Medium and an email to his supporters. He was the ninth Democratic hopeful to leave the race for the 2020 candidacy.
In March, on his first day as a top tier contender, Beto collected $6.1 million. Large crowds followed him from VFW halls to bars in small towns. His list of donors was awe-inspiring. Vanity Fair unveiled him on their cover with the headline: Beto’s Choice: Man, I’m just born to be in it! His early run had taken on the aura of a celebrity tour. He would later lament the magazine cover as a mistake.
In June, although O’Rourke was a strong debater during his Senate race against Ted Cruz, the presidential debates proved to be grueling for him. He briefly outshined ‘Spartacus’ Booker with some fluent Spanish. But he did not fare as well against Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Julian Castro. On stage he had no clear solutions for the important issues. Well, none of them did actually…
Americans observed him agreeing with open borders, healthcare for all, guaranteed jobs for all, Trump impeachment, Hunter Biden misbehavior, a wealth tax, gun control. The two military veterans took the stage on the war in Syria. The question of high tech companies overreach devolved into a squabble about Trump’s twitter usage. Through it all, Beto appeared a follower rather than a leader.
Falling into lockstep with the lot of them he endorsed on his webpage: pro-abortion, end oil and gas drilling, DACA citizenship, eliminate electoral college, felons to vote while in prison, legalize marijuana nationally, abolish capital punishment. Conventional Democrat tosh…
With a DUI and petty theft record in his past, Beto visited pot stores and the homeless in California. In Mississippi, an immigrant encampment. He had prison visits scheduled but due to the killings in El Paso he cancelled and flew home.
After the horrendous August mass shooting of Latinos in his hometown of El Paso, he took a passionate, hard stand on gun control. He endorsed gun buybacks and was later cornered into admitting that under his leadership, AR-15/AK-47assault weapon owners would be visited by law enforcement in their homes to collect them. Ugh.
Known and mocked by many including President Trump for his almost comedic sharing of dental cleaning and hair trimming, Beto’s youth and inexperience was quickly exposed. Yeah, not good…
Against the hard, tough questions facing Americans, his support eroded and fundraising quickly imploded. He was spending more than he was bringing in.
It was a precipitous fall. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed only 1 percent of the Iowa Democratic caucus support. He had not met the threshold for the November primary debates.
On that Friday, Nov 1, as the active presidential candidates assembled for an Iowa Democratic party event in Des Moines, O’Rourke’s hallway table was abandoned and bare, except for a lone roll of leftover canvassing stickers.
Now that he was no longer in the race, a few staunch supporters were already talking about his entering the Senate seat again next year. Kind words began to flood in from his former opponents, with one exception:
“Thank you…for always speaking from the heart…” from Kamala Harris.
“Thank you…ending gun violence…uplifting the voices of victims…” from Elizabeth Warren.
“Oh no, Beto just dropped out of race for President despite him saying he was “born for this.” I don’t think so!” from Donald Trump.
Outside, across the street from the convention center, Beto gathered a small crowd as a light drizzle began to fall. His wife Amy and their three children were not with him. When questioned, he stated emphatically he would not run for the Senate next year.
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