by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
“I’m just born to be in it,” failed Senate candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke told Vanity Fair before he announced his failed campaign for president in 2019. He dropped out a few months later, after a series of Democratic primary polls showed him getting blown out by alternative options such as “None” and “Not Sure.”
The news blog Axios reports that Beto continues to believe in his destiny and will attempt a rare trifecta of political failure by running a losing campaign for governor of Texas in 2022. An official announcement is expected later this year, followed by a concession speech shortly after polls close in November of next year.
Because Beto is running in Texas against a reviled Republican—Gov. Greg Abbott—he can count on the media to provide the same glowing coverage that accompanied his failed attempt to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) in 2018, when he raised almost $80 million that might otherwise have gone to candidates who had a realistic shot at winning.
Beto the Senate candidate was beloved by celebs and was constantly being compared to Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy. By contrast, the media coverage of Beto’s failed presidential campaign—when he was running against other Democrats—was amusingly ruthless in its criticism of the candidate. Beto was widely dismissed as a “privileged” white dude with a “long history of failing upward” and no legitimate rationale for running apart from his boundless ego.
It will be similarly amusing to watch the media change their tune once again and pretend that Beto has a chance to win in Texas, when all available evidence suggests otherwise. During his failed presidential campaign, for example, Beto tried his best to achieve a statistically significant level of support by embracing a number of extreme left-wing positions that will terrify a lot of Texas voters.