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OpinionBeto is the poor man's Obama — Dems can do better

01:45  18 march  2019
01:45  18 march  2019 Source:   thehill.com

Beto O’Rourke’s campaign comes to life in a darkened theater, for better and worse

Beto O’Rourke’s campaign comes to life in a darkened theater, for better and worse A documentary on his 2018 Senate campaign grimly details the cost to his children, as the former congressman prepares for an expected presidential race.

Beto is the poor man's Obama — Dems can do better© Getty Images Beto is the poor man's Obama — Dems can do better

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Beto O'Rourke is in! After a reverential Vanity Fair profile and awkward couch announcement at his home, he is now seeking to become ... something.

Speaking in vagaries and platitudes, Beto says he plans to make us all into the better people he hopes we can be. We've been through this with Barack Obama - and have no reason to fall for a worse imitation 12 years later.

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In many ways, Beto-mania is a poor man's version of Obama's ascension to the national stage in 2007. Obama had a similar unveiling before his presidential announcement in late 2006. Just a year and a half in office as an Illinois senator, he received the cover of Men's Vogue from the same Annie Leibovitz who shot Beto's iconic-jeans-next-to-a-pickup-truck look.

Beto's moment on VF's cover may be the same attempt to catch lightning in a bottle. But lightning doesn't strike the same place twice very often.

Some enterprising journalism student will soon have to write a profile about all of the profiles that were written about Beto during the Texas Senate race. But the number of Christ allegories are a symptom more of the press' wishes than any accomplishments Beto had when he announced he is seeking the White House.

'You can probably tell that I want to run. I do.' Beto stars on cover of Vanity Fair as his team recruits volunteers to help send 'some text messages tomorrow morning' and 2020 speculation runs rampant

'You can probably tell that I want to run. I do.' Beto stars on cover of Vanity Fair as his team recruits volunteers to help send 'some text messages tomorrow morning' and 2020 speculation runs rampant Beto O'Rourke conceded to Vanity Fair magazine that he wants to run for president, adding he is 'just born to be in it.' require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The former congressman stars on the April edition of the magazine with the blazing tag line: 'His road to 2020 begins.' 'You can probably tell that I want to run,' he says. 'I do. I think I'd be good at it.' 'I want to be in it,' he adds.

Obama was a phenomenon when he announced his candidacy in early 2007. With a squeaky clean family persona and 2004 convention speech that overshadowed John Kerry's, it was obvious that he could be a foil to Hillary Clinton after her Iraq War vote.

Beto has none of that.

El Paso's former congressman garnered national attention - and $70 million - for his hoped-for role of unseating Ted Cruz. Although Beto ultimately couldn't finish the job, he came closer to unseating a Republican senator than any other Texas Democrat in the last 40 years.

It seems coming close only works in horseshoes and for aimless, white middle-aged millionaires.

Surprisingly, the personification of coming from a privileged family hasn't hurt the candidate. To an astonishing degree, Beto taps into the inner workings of the Democratic base even more than intersectional candidates like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. He is an aimless product of privilege with a short resume and the added benefit of his wife's millions. He can skateboard, he can play guitar, he can make being unemployed look like an adventure. He can call in favors to get away with Aggravated DWI and fleeing the scene. For aspiring white trust funders just dropping off the keys at the Austin U-haul station, Beto speaks to them - for them - in a profound and shallow way.

Beto O'Rourke announces in video he's running for president

Beto O'Rourke announces in video he's running for president Beto O'Rourke announced he is running for president, and was immediately launching a three-day campaign swing through Iowa.

Bizarrely, Beto's improbable 2018 Senate campaign against Cruz almost proved a point about the power of white privilege, with a white man attacking a Latino son of a refugee, currying favor from the most tony estates in Williamsburg and Fairfax County.

Beto can replicate a portion of Obama's coalition of the I-would-be-successful-but-I-never-saw-the-point-of-trying branch of white young Democrats, as well as middle-aged liberal women, and garner garish profile pieces in glossy magazines each week. However, without building Obama's base among black voters and with the millennials financing Bernie Sanders's campaign with their student loan debt, Beto's lane may be closing in the Democratic primary.

We can see his golden ticket to the nomination expiring in the early lefty coverage of his announcement. Although there is excitement surrounding Beto among many in the Democratic Party, it doesn't extend to every corner. CNN published an op-ed about his run as dripping with white privilege. Paste declared him the candidate for "vapid morons." Perhaps Slate of all places had the best pitch: why?

Beto O’Rourke may be running for president, but his dog is a better candidate

Beto O’Rourke may be running for president, but his dog is a better candidate There’s one real star of the Vanity Fair profile of Beto O’Rourke, and it’s not the Texas politician. The failed Senate candidate announced he’s running for president Thursday morning, and just in time, the magazine profiled him in a glowing cover story. Luckily, the piece does acknowledge his drunk driving arrest, which other media outlets have conveniently overlooked in the past, but that doesn’t make it levelheaded.

Political observers may be seeking the "why," but the candidate surely isn't. He made repeated firm denials last year that he wouldn't run, and hasn't seemed to justify the change of heart - the why of all of it. Last year he claimed it would tear apart his family; why run at this juncture, considering his 8-year-old son Henry would cry "every day" if his father went through with it? There doesn't have to be a why, he will eventually say during a stump speech (I can imagine). There is only the possibility of greater things - why not?

Beto O'Rourke hasn't lived his life to be president. He's lived it to be a Kerouac novel sprinkled with perpetual aloofness. He's a mysterious figure ready to show that he is always seemingly thinking deep thoughts while actually demanding your adoration for its own sake. Many of the same outlets that cheered him on in 2018 will soon catapult him as their favorite candidate, even if he doesn't explode in the polls.

America - and even the Democratic Party - can do better than Beto.

Kristin Tate is a libertarian writer and author of "How Do I Tax Thee? A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off." Follow her on Twitter @KristinBTate.

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Beto O'Rourke Fine-Tunes Pitch To Black Voters In South Carolina.
CHARLESTON, S.C. ― “Why should black people vote for you?” Patricia Williams Lessane, an associate dean at the College of Charleston, asked point blank to Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke on Saturday, following a campaign kickoff marked by, among other things, an unusual discussion of his white male privilege. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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