Friday, November 09, 2018

Beto For President In 2020? It's NOT A Crazy Idea

Beto O'Rourke lost his bid to unseat Ted Cruz in the Texas race for the U.S. Senate. But he made it a much closer race than any Democrat has done in a statewide race in decades (50.94% to 48.26%). And in doing so, he excited Democrats in Texas and across the nation by showing a Democrat (running on real Democratic values and positions) can do well even in a deep red state.

He has some people now saying he would make a good Democratic candidate for president in 2020. It's not such a crazy idea!

He has some things working in his favor. First, he's a great campaigner, and a "retail" politician. He campaigned in all 254 Texas counties -- even the reddest of those counties. As a national candidate, you can bet he would campaign hard in all 50 states.

Second, he has shown himself to be a great fundraiser. He set the record for senate candidate fundraising -- and he did it without accepting a penny from any PAC. If chosen as the Democratic nominee, there is little doubt that he could raise the money necessary to take on Trump.

He's honest, and a straight-shooter. You may not agree with him on everything, but he won't lie to you. He'll tell you what he thinks, and more important, he'll listen to your point of view.

Some reporter had the audacity to ask O'Rourke if he was running for president the day after the Texas election. He said no -- that he owed his family some time after the 2018 campaign. I understand that. He needs to take some time off and recharge his batteries. There is time for rest and reflection.

But I hope after a few months, he will get that itch to get back in the fight. And I would like to see him make some trips to early primary states (like Iowa and New Hampshire). I think he might be pleasantly surprised at the reception he would receive.

There is a historical precedent for such a presidential run. In 1858, Abraham Lincoln lost a hard-fought race for the U.S. Senate. But he had excited voters across the country even though he lost, and two years later in 1860, he got his party's nomination and was elected president.

It may be time for history to repeat itself!

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