Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) is the Democratic frontrunner to take on “Lying” Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) in 2018. The Texas Observer has an long article on O’Rourke unorthodox campaign and background. O’Rourke stands in stark contrast to the narcissistic, unlikeable and prickly Cruz who seems afraid to be in Texas right now as he has refused to hold a town hall meeting anywhere in the state for months. O’Rourke on the other hand is rolling through Texas shaking hands and making friends. Beto is still unlikely to unseat “Lying Ted”, but he just might make the smug and self-righteous Cruz sweat. That would be worth the price of admission.
If you’re a Democrat and you find yourself running for statewide office in Texas, somewhere along the way you’ve made a wrong decision. A campaign is a two-year hell, and you have a very low chance of winning. If you lose badly, like Wendy Davis, your political life is probably over. Stay on the sidelines, like the Castro brothers, and your time may never come. Either way, you and your party lose. To run, and to commit to it seriously, requires either a sort of blindness to reality or a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.O’Rourke has a bit of both. On the one hand, he has very little experience with state politics, having skipped from a seat on the El Paso City Council to Congress. He’s unfamiliar with the bitterness and cynicism that pervades party politics in the rest of the state.
But he also feels a certain urgency. Many people believe the whole system of American politics is breaking down, he says. “I know so many people who voted for Trump, and I say, ‘How could you do that? You live in El Paso. You don’t want a wall.’ They’re like, ‘No, I could give a shit about the wall. I just want somebody to blow that place up. That place is so fucked up and corrupted, and it is a swamp, and that’s the first guy who I know could care less about the system.’” In his own way, O’Rourke is trying to blow up the system, too. When he describes his reasons for doing so, it becomes clear that the campaign is a sort of personal crusade.
“I think that your successor 500 years from now is going to be writing about us the way that we write about the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages,” he tells me. “It’s just so corrupt, in the same way that they were selling bishoprics and indulgences to shorten your time in purgatory. We’re selling votes. We’re selling amendments. We’re selling democracy, and it’s absolutely disgusting. But what makes it even more fucked up is that everybody knows that it’s happening, but it’s just what has always happened for so long now that it’s all-encompassing in the system. No one seems really willing to do anything that will compromise their ability to be successful in that system by stepping out of it.”
“I think that your successor 500 years from now is going to be writing about us the way that we write about the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. It’s just so corrupt, in the same way that they were selling bishoprics and indulgences to shorten your time in purgatory. We’re selling votes. We’re selling amendments. We’re selling democracy, and it’s absolutely disgusting. But what makes it even more fucked up is that everybody knows that it’s happening, but it’s just what has always happened for so long now that it’s all-encompassing in the system. No one seems really willing to do anything that will compromise their ability to be successful in that system by stepping out of it.”
Texas Lyceum has released a poll showing that Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) is vulnerable at an early stage of the 2018 Senate race. The poll shows Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) slightly ahead in a potential matchup with the Senator referred to as “Lying Ted” by our President (Note: Red prefers “Chicken Ted”). The poll shows Castro with 35 percent support of Texas adults and Cruz lagging behind with 31 percent. Even less well known State Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) is tied with Cruz at 30 percent.
Although good news for Democrats, keep in mind that a Democrat hasn’t won a Senate race in Texas in 29 years and there is not a single state-wide Democratic office-holder thanks primarily to the Bush family. But the fact that there might be two viable Democratic candidates for any state-wide office is remarkable given the current state of Texas politics.
Red has endorsed O’Rourke, but would support the emaciated walking dead ghost of former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis against Cruz if he could get his name on the ballot.
Last week Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D- El Paso) announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate seeking to unseat “Lying” Ted Cruz (TP-Texas). O’Rourke comes from a political family – his father was El Paso County Judge. O’Rourke himself has been in politics for about 12 years – first serving as an El Paso City Councilman and then barely unseating 8-term Congressman Silvestre Reyes in the Democratic primary in 2012.
O’Rourke carries some baggage from his days as a rock musician and two arrests – neither of which resulted in a conviction. Since then, he has operated a successful business – making enough money to venture into politics. His legislative track record is light, but that would be expected from a Democratic Congressman from Texas serving in a GOP dominated House of Representatives.
O’Rourke has taken strong stands on legalization of marijuana and protecting LGBT rights, but he kicked off his “campaign” when he and Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) embarked on a 3 day road trip to D.C. when airline flights were cancelled. The two representatives live-blogged their discussions as they drove east and created remarkable internet buzz by rationally and civilly discussing the issues.
It is worth noting, that no one from El Paso has ever been elected to state-wide office and that O’Rourke is a long shot against the Cruz publicity and money machine. The only hope would be that Cruz’s overweening ambition and narcissism will turn off enough moderates to consider making a switch. Still it would be remarkable if O’Rourke could crass the 45% threshold. But when faced with a choice of “Lying” Ted or a long shot, Red is not afraid of big odds. Red is fully on the Beto Bandwagon.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso may take on Senator “Lying” Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) in 2018 – that is assuming LTC survives a likely Republican primary challenge. O’Rourke, little known outside of far west Texas, raised his profile by taking a road trip with Republican Congressman Will Hurd when neither could get a flight back to DC due to weather.
Beto O’Rourke had, it seemed, already made up his mind he was going to run for Ted Cruz’s U.S. Senate seat next year.
But among the many hurdles the three-term Democratic congressman from El Paso would face, semiobscurity seemed hard to crack. He was little known outside of his hometown — no El Paso native has ever won statewide office — despite recent trips to virtually every corner of the state to raise his profile.
That changed Tuesday, when O’Rourke and his colleague, Will Hurd, a second-term Republican from Helotes, found themselves unable to fly from San Antonio into snowbound Washington in time for some House votes Wednesday. Instead, at O’Rourke’s instigation, they rented a Chevy Impala and hit the road for the nation’s capital.
Thus was born a 30-hour bipartisan road trip (plus four hours sleeping at a Nashville, Tenn., hotel), much of it streamed on Periscope and Facebook Live, that O’Rourke from the outset described as the “longest cross-country livestream town hall in the history of the world,” and which over the course of their 1,600-mile journey garnered encouragement from politicians of both parties, 2.6 million views online and the kind of avalanche of positive media coverage that most politicians will never see in a lifetime.