Beto O’Rourke Said to Jump Into Democratic Race for President

By Bloomberg 14 March 2019
Beto O'Rourke Photographer: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg

Beto O’Rourke is running for the Democratic nomination for president, according to two Democrats familiar with his plans.

O’Rourke was prepared to make a formal announcement on Thursday and planned to head to Iowa, the site of the first 2020 caucus, one of the Democrats said, but word began to get out on Wednesday night. The two Democrats spoke on the condition on anonymity to discuss O’Rourke’s campaign.

The former Texas congressman narrowly lost a Senate contest to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz last fall, but managed to build a nationwide following with his unconventional and optimistic style combined with a populist message that brought in almost $80 million in mostly small donations.

Speculation and doubts about O’Rourke’s intentions were fueled by his musings on blog posts as he traveled about the country after leaving Congress at the beginning of January. “Have been stuck lately. In and out of a funk,” he wrote on Jan. 16.

Early polls of potential Democratic nominees put O’Rourke, 46, in the top tier of candidates. But his challenge will be to show the party’s voters where he fits between the unabashed progressive stances of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and centrists such as Senator Amy Klobuchar. Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker are attempting to straddle party factions with their campaigns.

Read More: Ocasio-Cortez, O’Rourke Steal Some Thunder From 2020 Democrats

Last month, O’Rourke and the man he hopes to unseat, President Donald Trump, held dueling rallies in Texas, with each using the president’s proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border as an early proxy for the 2020 election.

Vanity Fair published a long article about O’Rourke on Wednesday evening, with photographs by Annie Leibovitz. In it, he said of a presidential run: “I want to be in it. Man, I’m just born to be in it.” DM


In other news...

The South African economy is choking harder than the Proteas. Although to be choking you have to actually be eating and the Proteas seem to be on some sort of juice cleanse-like fast…*

Back to the economy: In the first quarter the GDP dive-bombed by a whopping 3.2%. The sense of futility can paralyse us into inaction and moaning. But it’s times like these that call for effort and action, no matter how small. Yes, South Africa is hurting. Yes the ravaged economy is evident everywhere you look. But you can make a difference, in your own personal way and by supporting independent media like Daily Maverick. We’ve pledged to continue the fight through producing incisive and impactful investigations and analysis, the same way we have done every day for the last decade.

By becoming a Maverick Insider you can help us keep doing what we do, so that you and others who can’t afford it, can keep reading the truth. For whatever amount you choose, you can support DM and it only takes a minute.

Support Daily Maverick→Payment options

*Proteas, you know we love you. We’d just love you more if you won occasionally...

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.


Zuma’s spy claims are implausible, paranoid, and a red herring

By Nel Marais

"The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology" ~ Edward Wilson