A spate of recent articles suggest that some members of the Bernie Sanders wing of the democratic party are seeking to bash Texas’ Beto O’Rourke as both men eye a presidential run in 2020.
“The main line of attack against O’Rourke is that he isn’t progressive enough — that he’s been too close to Republicans in Congress, too close to corporate donors and not willing enough to use his star power to help fellow Democrats — and it is being pushed almost exclusively by Sanders supporters online and in print,” according to NBC News.
O’Rourke was narrowly defeated in his run against Ted Cruz for his Senate seat by 2.6 points.
The last time Texas elected a Democrat to the Senate was Lloyd Bentsen 30 years ago. Recognition of his fund raising and outsider appeal have propelled O’Rourke to the top of contenders for the democratic nomination to the presidential ticket.
“I’m not sure we need another Obama, or another of any Democrat we’ve had recently,” Elizabeth Bruenig recently wrote in The Washington Post referring to O’Rourke. “I think the times both call for and allow for a left-populist candidate with uncompromising progressive principles. I don’t see that in O’Rourke.” She labeled O’Rourke “progressive-ish,” pointing to his “thin” statements on energy regulation and his membership in the New Democrat Coalition, “a centrist caucus with Clintonian views on health care, education, and trade.”
However, O’Rourke doesn’t seem to care too much about that stuff, which is part of his appeal says Vanity Fair, “He wrestles with some questions in real time, out in the open, without scripted talking points. Just last week, he was asked by a pack of reporters if he thinks of himself as a progressive. His answer wasn’t exactly focus-grouped. It probably wasn’t a good answer at all. He is clearly wrestling with the idea of what a presidential campaign would look like, and I’m told his answers in private meetings these days sound very much like this one—a little tortured, noncommittal, honest.”
Vanity Fair concludes, “There’s only one thing we can predict with airtight certainty: whoever wastes their time re-litigating the Bernie-vs.-Hillary wars will absolutely get left behind”