Dougan: Beto is the Poor Man’s Obama, Dems Can Do Better!
As Beto O’Rourke entered the Presidential race, he raised money larger and faster than any other Democrat, as was expected.
But who is he really? He has no accomplishments in Congress, except naming a library. In his Senate race, he did well to drive voter turnout. But when you remove the skateboard and the platitudes, what is left?
My friend, writer Michael Dougan answers just that question in a recent piece from Capitol Whip:
Beto is the Poor Man’s Obama, Dems Can Do Better
By: Michael Dougan
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.
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 Vogue from the same Annie Leivovity 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.
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 inter-sectional 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.
Continue reading Michael Dougan’s piece at the Capitol Whip HERE
The Capitol Whip is a political news company. We covered politics like it hasn’t been done before, we are shaped by you, we are unfiltered and unbiased news.