The official launch of former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign has been marked by a series of very bad new cycles, briefly interrupted by some quite positive ones. After disappearing for weeks on some sort of Simon and Garfunkle vision quest to explore his own feelings and find the Real America, O’Rourke decided that he was “born to run” for the presidency. And that’s when the oppo research started dropping. Some of it involved things we’d already learned during his Senate campaign, but those were mixed in with brand new and disturbing revelations.
But that’s all behind him now. According to Beto, his supporters don’t need to worry because all the skeletons have been dumped out of his closet and it’s going to be smooth sailing from here on out. (Associated Press)
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke told supporters Sunday that he’s never taken LSD and there’s “nothing” he hasn’t already revealed about his past that could come back to hurt his run for office.
The former Texas congressman — who has become known for his propensity for using the “f-word” — also promised again to clean up his language, despite breaking such past vows…
Speaking in front of a large map of Russia inside a coffee shop in Wisconsin’s capital, O’Rourke promised to return often, addressing concerns Democrats raised in 2016 after Hillary Clinton never campaigned in the state after her party’s primary and lost the state to Donald Trump by fewer than 23,000 votes.
This is supposed to be the time when a new candidate is out there making bold proposals, defining himself and his vision for the future of the country. That really hasn’t worked out too well for O’Rourke thus far. When the first question you get at a stop in Iowa comes from a child who wants to know if you took LSD back during your days working with a criminal computer hacking group, the message is probably going to get a bit muddled.
The list of answers he’s been giving to both his audiences and the press looks like something out of an old Blake Edwards movie. No, I never took LSD. I’m really going to try not to say the F-word so much in the future. Yes, that was me dressed up in a Furry costume while playing in my punk rock band. Yes, I was a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow. I already explained what happened when I got drunk and caused a car crash. Do we really have to go through all this again?
And yet, as I mentioned above, there has been good news as well. We just learned today that O’Rourke somehow raised $6.1M in the first 24 hours after announcing his campaign. That breaks Bernie Sanders’ record, though not by much. So does this mean that people simply don’t care about O’Rourke’s past?
Possibly. But it’s also clear that some of his supporters find these tales of his wild and wooly days to actually be appealing. I was browsing through some of the Twitter comments in response to the announcement of the hacker story. It seemed to be primarily younger participants, but there were more than a few who mentioned that it was high time we finally had someone who understood computer technology in the White House. And they weren’t going to hold a little hacking against him.
Hey… what do I know? There was a time when any one of these stories would have essentially ended a political career. But this is 2019 and they might be seen as a badge of honor now.
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