Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Beto O'Rourke plans to run for president

Beto O'Rourke plans to run for president

Greeted by cheers at his first stop in Keokuk, Iowa, he told his audience, "It is a huge, huge honor to be here with you".

Others jokingly suggested that O'Rourke, who was born Robert O'Rourke of Irish roots but now goes by his childhood nickname, had Italian ancestry, such was the level of his hand motions. He nonetheless harnessed nationwide popularity to rake in $80-plus million during the Senate bid, including a staggering $38 million from July to September 2018 alone. He took a solo road trip through the Southwest earlier this year, documenting his travels in a series of Medium posts reminiscent of Jack Kerouac.

And when Mr. Trump visited El Paso last month to talk about border security, O'Rourke held a dueling rally that captured the attention of the current commander in chief. Before that bid, O'Rourke had served on the El Paso City Council for six years and had founded his own technology company. Trump relished the face-off, dismissing the Democrat's crowd size (which was later estimated to be at least as big as Trump's), claiming that this "may be the end of his presidential bid" and that O'Rourke was simply "a young man who's got very little going for himself except a great first name".

O'Rourke jumped into the presidential race on Thursday after months of hinting and soul-searching. Curious whether this is just random or the shape and positioning of his campaign.

Building a national presidential operation, however, is a different matter. Cory Booker (N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Asked about "Beto" getting into the race by Fox News, White House Principal Deputy Secretary Hogan Gidley was dismissive of O'Rourke's campaign logo- and merchandise-friendly nickname. He lost his only tilt at the Senate to one of the most divisive Republicans in America, Ted Cruz.

"I thought, there is a certain ego illusion here that the planet had the magic moment and Beto O'Rourke showed up".

His comments were carried live on several cable television networks, something other Democrats in the already crowded White House field haven't had. Some in the party believe an establishment figure who can appeal to centrist voters is the way to victory.

Beto O'Rourke doesn't seem to have any policy positions on his campaign website yet - but he does have lots of merchandise for sale. O'Rourke passed just three bills during his six years in Congress: two related to temporary health benefits and college tuition assistance to veterans and one renaming El Paso's federal courthouse.

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